AI War 2:Finalizing Multiplayer

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Contents

Known Issues

  • Any bugs or requests should go to our mantis bugtracker
    • If you need to submit log files, those can generally be found under your PlayerData folder in the folder your game is installed in. The most relevant one is called ArcenDebugLog.txt. You can send us the whole thing, or just strip out relevant parts.
    • In rare cases, mainly if your entire game crashes (that almost never happens), we will need your unity player log. That gets overwritten the next time you run the game after a crash, unlike the other log. These can be found here:
      • Windows: C:\Users\username\AppData\LocalLow\Arcen Games, LLC\AIWar2\Player.log
      • macOS: ~/Library/Logs/Arcen Games, LLC/AIWar2/Player.log
      • Linux: ~/.config/unity3d/Arcen Games, LLC/AIWar2/Player.log

What Does Multiplayer Beta Mean?

Please see this link for details on multiplayer. This wound up taking up too much space in this document, so all of the multiplayer-relevant bits have been moved to the other page.

What's this phase all about?

Multiplayer is fully playable at this point, but still has a variety of glitches and doesn't have all of the features that we intend to have in the long term. So hence it still being in alpha status. But we greatly welcome folks to play, and hopefully give us reports on what is going wrong if something does go wrong.

We expect to be to a fully-polished non-beta status for multiplayer in June or July, if things continue as they have.

Our second expansion for the game, Zenith Onslaught, has a whole heck of a lot of it completed, but still needs more doing. Badger has done all of his parts for it, and has retired like Puffin before him, so at this point we are down to basically a one-person show again (me, Chris) on bugfixing, finishing multiplayer, finishing my parts of DLC2, and finishing the last of the kickstarter obligations. So if the schedule slips some, it's likely because I had trouble juggling that, or wanted extra time to make things truly shine, whichever. But at the start of this phase, things are feeling very positive.

3.501

(Not yet released -- we're still working on it!)

Beta 3.500 Data Integrity And Game Tech Upgrades

(Released July 31st, 2021)

Wow this is a lot of changes. There are some known issues noted way down below, but most are not serious. However, the sheer volume of what has changed is larger than perhaps any other release in the last few years when it comes to the technical side of things. So we are expecting oddities. We'll stay on a beta branch until this blows past. But in the meantime, this is also a huge improvement in a wide array of areas, which is very exciting.

Major Engine Upgrade

  • Updated Unity from 2019.4.18f1 to 2020.3.15.f1.
  • Slate Cinematic Sequencer is updated to 2.0.3.
    • This is used for the ships flying on the main menu.
    • We had a variety of custom bits of code in that, mostly to make it be quiet in the unity editor, and we got those integrated back in.
  • Updated TextMeshPro from 2.01 to 3.06, and then re-integrated all of our (many, many) customizations. Wow that was a lot of customizations.
    • This is used for text throughout the game, and icons in text, etc. (Our customizations mostly relate to icons in text and adding extra features there).
  • Updated Shapes from 2.3.2 to 4.0.2.
    • This is how we draw range circles and a few similar things along those lines.
  • Updated IMDraw from 1.4.2 to 1.4.3.
    • This is how we draw lines like movement orders or attack orders in particular. It's not how we draw ship to ship lines.
    • They note that they fixed something that might have been a memory leak from the sounds of it in this update, so that's handy.
    • We also let a most of our own customizations of this lapse, so that we use more of what is central to this. We are now drawing high-radius circles with Shapes, so we no longer have any need for IMDraw being able to draw circles with more than 48 vertices. (In the past, we had customized it to allow for this). All of the things that use circles right now from IMDraw are things like the battle notifications on the galaxy map, or some debugging displays, and those all already used the lowest-poly version, so the functionality is identical. It's just one more piece of external code that we don't have to manage quite as many custom differences with.
  • Dynamic batching is now enabled for the game again. Normally we use GPU instancing, but there are some cases in the GUI and the galaxys map where it turns out dynamic batching instead is the way to go.
    • The great news is that this basically just increases framerate from those areas, and reduces the draw call count in general
    • The reason for disabling it in the past is just HOW much we use GPU instancing, and dynamic batching itself does use some CPU cycles figuring out what to batch. So why have it on if it's not used? Thankfully, in our case the things that are instanced are generally not going to even be visible to the process doing dynamic batching, so these days it's the best of both worlds.

Mac OSX Silicon/M1 Support

  • Now that the version of the engine that we use supports it, we are building in such a way that it should work for Intel 64 or the newer "Silicon" hardware chipset natively.
    • We don't yet have a Silicon machine, so please let us know how it goes!

HDR Monitor Support

  • The game now supports HDR output for HDR monitors. It uses a bitdepth of 10, for now.

DirectX12 and Vulkan Support on Windows

  • On windows, if you open the game without selecting a runtime type, it will now default to DirectX11 rather than OpenGL. This gives much better performance.
    • As in, specifically, you might see a boost of 30% fps or more.
  • Added both DirectX12 and Vulkan support to Windows. Both of these should perform better than DirectX11 does, and FAR better than OpenGL does. For now we've left in OpenGL as an option, though.

Main Menu Quality And Performance

  • Updated the reflection probe on the main menu scene so that it is now once again time-sliced a bit, making it lower impact on the GPU and GPU.
    • Also adjusted its position so that it now provides a more realistic angle to the reflection of the ships passing out, while not having any of the prior problems we had experienced with this. This also is no longer using box projection.
    • Thanks to marty651 for suggesting the position below the floor and a bit to the side.
  • The game now supports GPU-accelerated skinning of character animations. This is now relevant for the four characters standing around on the main menu.
    • This only works on DX11, DX12, and Vulkan (the latter on Windows and Linux). Metal on OSX doesn't seeem to support this.
    • This gives a slight speed boost, not that they were that heavy to begin with.

UI Performance Improvements

  • Various UI performance improvements have been added.
    • A simpler version of the TextMeshPro shaders is now used, which has all the features we were actually using (so it looks identical but does less work).
    • In various places in the sidebars and similar we are now using a RectMask2D rather than regular Mask, as that is a lot more efficient. Visually this looks the same almost everywhere (it removes the rounded edges on the notifications in the top part of the screen, but that's it), and it's more efficient.
  • Wormholes in the planet view no longer render using TextMeshPro on canvases, but instead just pure TextMeshPro, which is more efficient for these purposes.
    • Same for the planet names, and the text next to planet names, on the galaxy map.
  • Several of the new ship-to-ship lines from the past version or two are now rendered using substantially less RAM.
  • Our internal UI middle-layer now disables sub-canvases and graphic raycasters when a window is not showing.
    • A lot of things that were previously exposed as public variables on our internal windows class are also now self-contained in such a way that we can avoid programmer errors or misunderstandings.
      • A number of these now cache the last known value when that wasn't done before (mostly it was done before, but not always). This prevents us from accidentally over-dirtying a canvas by setting it back to some value it already has anyway.
  • Fixed issues with the following canvases staying active even when they were blank and should have been hidden.
    • This was a performance leak, as well as potentially something that could block random parts of the screen from getting clicks (in theory, maybe, possibly not really, and only under certain circumstances but we'd rather not tempt fate).
    • The list: Window_DebugInfo, all the variants of tooltip (there are seven overall), and the center screen popup bar/window.
  • The following locations now use a Rect2DMask instead of a traditional Mask in the UI, granting them way more performance in general and lower draw calls:
    • All the sidebars, Selected ships list, notifications at the top of the screen.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed a bug where Helping Hands 2 from TSR had Scourge mistakenly set to be your enemy instead of ally.
    • Thanks to OzoneGrif for reporting, and Daniexpert for fixing.
  • Fixed a typo when the strength in response of an hack was not calculable.
    • Thanks to M42 for reporting.
  • Fixed a typo in the 32k gravity well description and one in the debug settings.
    • Thanks to Daniexpert for reporting.
  • Fixed two typos in the journal when completing a spire transceiver.
    • Thanks to GreatYng for reporting.
  • Turns out it was possible to get some very-invisible errors in the ClearAllTraceOfExistingGame() code. That has now been made more robust so that errors will be more visible, as a start.
    • Secondarily, it also is set up so that an error in part of it will only affect that part of it, and so that the most likely potential errors would not happen.
    • These are something that could have been a memory leak.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen in tooltips now. Not sure if this was ever possible before, but now it's fixed.
  • Fixed an issue from the last few versions where if you switched what expansions or mods you were using, during the reload it would not show the text status and instead showed a very high-bloom view.
  • Cleared out some extra debugging that was in there since the main menu redesign that noted if expansions were disabled or enabled on the wall in the hangar.
  • When we are loading external dlls, we no longer even bother trying to load their pdb/mdb files. That has never worked properly, and requires a conversion tool, and we've found ways around it so why bother looking for it or loading extra data?
  • If someone saved a quick start with a faster-than-normal (or slower than normal) game speed, it should now load with the default game speed instead.
  • Multiplayer should no longer freak out when the host does a Reset To Defaults button in the lobby. Previously that would cause the client to be forgotten. This still needs more testing; if it is still broken, it's at least closer to being fixed.

Reworked External Data Loading Pipeline

  • There has never really seemed to be a problem with loading external dlls from background threads, but it can introduce some cross-threading issues on faster machines given the data types we're using. Better not to take chances.
    • The game now yells at any programmers that try to do this off the main thread, which mostly means yelling at Chris to fix the central classes up to that new standard.
  • The game now defines a IArcenExternalClass, which is an interface that is now to be at the root of all classes loaded externally.
    • Anything that doesn't inherit from this will wind up no longer functioning. So that is a few code-based mods need to implement this properly.
    • This has a method on it called RunOnFirstTimeAssemblyLoaded(). This is, as you might expect, run just a single time when the entire dll that this method is in is loaded for the first time. This lets modders in particular set up some one-time things that they'll never disable until the game is restarted.
      • This replaces IInitialSetupForDLL, which has been deprecated. The new method is a lot more efficient, as we don't have to examine every type in a dll we are loading; just the ones the modder or developer tells us about.
  • In general we now have a central registry of all of the external assemblies and types, and a really tight leash on how we generate those and how they are kept track of.
    • This is important so that we don't wind up creating multiple copies of the same thing, or a bunch of things that won't be garbage collected, depending on how you look at it.
  • Fixed a bug where the background darkness behind some windows was instantiating some random class as a controller for itself. No idea what sort of effect that had in the past, but it was not welcome.
    • There is now a is_intentionally_without_controller="true" that lets us avoid that.

Memory Leak Work

  • Fixed a small(?) memory leak in the galaxy map planet links, where any that were animated or which had a wave incoming warning were creating an extra material copy per frame, every frame that they were animated. This was a phenomenally large waste of resources, potentially, if you had a long game with a lot of waves, and would not reset until you restarted the game program. Just going back to the main menu was not enough.
    • The programmer that had implemented the wave warnings and specialized lines was not familiar with unity's API enough to know this would happen with the method they used, and we unfortunately didn't catch it in code review. It's pretty subtle. This bug goes back to October 8, 2019.
  • The keybind "Dump Squad Data" now dumps its data to a fresh log in [InstallLocation]/GameData/SquadDataExports/DateTime.txt rather than into the main debug log.
  • A new keybind has been added: Dump External Heirarchy Data
    • Output a bunch of data about all 'external heirarchy data' that the game current has loaded into a fesh log in [InstallLocation]/GameData/ExternalHeirarchyDataExports/DateTime.txt.
    • Default bound to F15.
  • Discovered that were creating a silly number of ShipInstanceRendererPools, each of which had a ton of objects in the,
    • There is now just one such pool, shared between ship types.
    • This was previously a memory leak between loads of the xml files (changing expansions or mods), but not entirely sure about if it was a leak between loads of the game itself.
  • Fixed an over-initialization error with the contents of notification pools, where we were creating 30 copies of each possible one, including lots that only ever show once.
    • Further fixed a memory leak where the pools themselves for these notifications would get lost in RAM after exiting to the main menu and coming back into the game. This would all but ensure that they stayed in RAM until game shutdown, since the pool and sub-objects referenced one another.
  • We have long had a BasicPool<> class that is used for various things. However, the end programmers (even the designer of said pool) did not always use these correctly.
    • To enforce correct usage and save us from accidental errors, a few changes have been made:
      • First, you can no longer create a BasicPool<> directly. You now have to call BasicPoolOfPools.CreateAndReturnBasicPoolOrGetExistingOneByName<>() instead.
        • This will create it and register it, or if it already exists (that happened just one bug ago), then it will reuse itself.
        • This method should still be used sparingly, because it does have to do cross-threading locks. It should be used like we used the constructor before, not as a quick lookup for dictionaries in general (because it's not quick in that way).
      • Secondly, you must now specify a BasicPoolAutoClearFrequency of either EveryFrame or Custom.
        • The new problem we were having is that notifications were leaking all over the place, causing dozens of extra entries in memory per second, and eventually very crowded lists. This is because the end programmers forgot to call Clear() before resuming use of them. Now they can auto-clear and we don't have to think about it. If you choose "Custom" as the clear frequency, you're responsible for managing that yourself.
        • Hmm, turns out the original attack notifications did the clear, but nothing else. That said, because of double buffering their clear should have introduced a flicker. It probably wasn't great either way, but it's nice to see we started out doing it mostly correctly.
  • Okay, so the problem with the notifications was actually NOT solvable even with the nicer BasicPool<>. Since we double buffer the lists, and there are multiple that needed to be chained together, that means...
    • Added a new DoubleBufferedPool<> class, which can be chained into arbitrary trees of unlike inheritance if needed. We only need one level of unlike inheritance (one parent, many children), but multiple levels (grandchildren unevenly or evenly) are possible with the structure.
    • This internalizes all the complexity of the chain of double buffers, and we use it for the notifications as a whole (what are shown) and then all the many pools of things that can fill them.
    • Any mods that use these will need to have a look at the base game code and update accordingly.
  • All of the external objects loaded through our central system now have ClearAllMyDataForQuitToMainMenuOrBeforeNewMap() called on them properly when the game world is cleared.
    • This makes it so that these objects are pooled, and we no longer throw away any of those external data structures, but instead reuse them again if you launch another game without quitting the game program. It prevents some substantial memory leaks, as well as leading to faster performance.
    • We do still have more objects that we need to pool to prevent memory leakage between game loads, but this is a notable chunk.
  • The SpecialFactionData implementations now have SetUpAllMyDataForNewObjectAttachment() called on them, with the faction passed in as the object, when they are initially assigned.
  • Made some MAJOR performance improvements to our TimeBasedPool in general.
    • Previously it was only able to store objects in intervals of once per second, so storing them for long times was really inefficient.
    • Additionally, previously it had a huge overhead for the number of internal seconds there were, with however much data was in there.
    • Now it has been adjusted to be very efficient (a constant CPU cost) regardless of how many queues there are, and it also supports queues that last a longer time but don't move ahead every second.
    • This lets us safely isolate items for longer periods of time before bringing them back out of a pool, but also immediately flip to "everything is ready for use now" when we exit a game and look to start again.
    • This lets us use these for more things in the near future to help with memory leaks, and it also improves the performance of loading and quitting games in the short-term, too.
  • Added a new BetweenMapGenPool<> class that is specifically for handling cases of things that get created during a game, then never destroyed or reused until the map has been cleared and it's time to create them again.
    • There's a fair number of things in this category, and it's by far most efficient to handle them in their own way.
    • This class has been coded to be aggressively threadsafe despite using a central index, so it's also chiefly for things that are created on just a few threads (like what happens with most of mapgen).
  • PlanetFaction was previously using its own custom form of pooling (because there was no central pool appropriate to it), but now thanks to our new reference tracker code we can see that this was not working at all.
    • Was this ever working? Who can say! Doesn't really matter except that we know now it was not.
    • With this fix now in, we can verify that we're no longer leaking planetfactions, which also solves a few things related to them right away!
  • Fixed a really pointless memory leak in ShortRangePlanning_StrengthData_PlanetFaction_Stance.
  • Improved the efficiency of getting and setting LongRangePlanningData_Planet.
  • Planets and galaxies are now pooled via the new BetweenMapGenPool<>, and that solves a lot of our memory leak right there -- although not remotely all of it! It's still possible with repeated reloads to leak a whole bunch of other things.
  • The ArcenExternalDataPatternTable table now loads from all mods and dlc that are installed on the system, but just doesn't activate any that are not needed at the moment.
    • This lets us keep these from needing a reload during runtime, and have an accurate count for our ArcenExternalDataLookup side of things.
  • The World, and World_AIW2 objects, are both now pooled, and both do a nice and intentional full wipe of all the data related to them.
    • In the past, it was expected that the data would be all interconnected in an island that the GC would be able to carry off, but that island is far to interconnected now. We must keep it, and we must reuse it.
    • This is a pretty hefty change, but a very needed one, and there may be some bugs as side effects for a little while because of this (hence the beta branch).
  • TimeBasedPool<> and ConcurrentPool<> have both been updated to prevent multiple copies of the same object from being added to themselves.
    • This has required a change from the interface ITimeBasedPoolable<T> to have some new functions, and so we also added the default abstract class TimeBasedPoolable<T> that can be used to automate that logic if the class in question is not already inheriting from another class.
      • We would have removed the interface and just had the abstract class, but that doesn't work with things that already have levels of heirarchy.
    • This adds one last critical bit of thread safety that could have been messing with certain things on very-good-threading computers.
  • WorldSetup used to leak, but now these are just grafted onto the world objects that are pooled, versus needing to be pooled on their game.
  • ConfigurationForFaction is now fully pooled and no longer memory leaks.
    • The way that random factions are assigned might need a look, but honestly we probably fixed some bugs with it rather than the other way around.
  • Squads (ships/structures) now once again are pooled. They go into an extremely long-form queue that only lets them back into the game after 3 minutes (360 seconds) seconds of waiting.
    • Technically because this is 360 seconds split into 12 sections, it could in theory be as short as 331 seconds before one re-enters.
    • At any rate, the window of 331-360 seconds should be sufficient for any background thread to fire several times and notice that the unit they have on hand is dead.
      • If they don't notice within that time period, that's on the developer of the faction or mod in question. They'll later wind up with a reference to some completely other unit, like a fireteam not realizing that it can't give orders to some unit that is now a player unit.
      • Let's really hope we don't have any "fun" bugs like this, in mods or otherwise. It should be very straightforward for any faction designer to check for stale references, though. If a unit has HasBeenRemovedFromSim as true, then it's in this 2.5-3 minute period and needs to be culled.
  • EntitySystems on squads are also now pooled, separately from squads because of how that whole dynamic works.
    • They are added to a simpler pool (no time delay) after the squad is coming back OUT of its pool, super late so it can't hurt anything by going through quickly.
    • Also improved some sub-leaks that this one had.
  • StatisticSet is now really used much anymore, but it's pooled for those cases where it is, at least.
  • PlayerAccount and PlayerAccount_AIW2 now both pool properly, even though they were a pretty small amount of data. Still nice to do it properly.
  • EntityLineTypeData now uses ConcurrentPool<> rather than TimeBasedPool<>, since that is now something that would be more efficient for it and allow for less extra wasteage.
    • Same deal for PlannedMetalFlow.
  • The ExternalData class is now being tracked, and also now being pooled. It is linked against a sub-list on each ArcenExternalDataPattern.
  • Fleet.Memberships are now being tracked properly, and also now being pooled.
    • Same for TransportedShips.
  • Fleets themselves are also now pooled.
  • ShipLineEntries is now fully pooled.
  • ArcenThread isn't pooled, but instead is initialized and managed with unique names that live for as long as the program does.
  • A variety of SimContexts, mostly used for loading savegames and generating maps and such, are now reused rather than being generated over and over again. This was a slight memory leak, but also will now perform better.
  • All the various levels of SimContext now track themselves separately so that we can tell where there are ones leaking.
  • The planning contexts and threads for factions are now properly pooled.
    • There are still more memory leaks, but this is one of the last super duper substantial ones in terms of how much memory they hold onto.
  • Updated ShipLineEntry so that it is now pool in a ConcurrentPool rather than a map-clear based on.
  • Created a new ProtectedList<> class that allows us to manage pooling in a more automated fashion.
    • Even with a number of changes to ShipGrantsList to attempt to handle any accidental cases, that just was not catching all the leaks or even close.
    • This is a general-purpose class that might be useful for something that has more significance when it leaks, but it's also just nice to be tidy where we can.
    • The AMU mod has been updated to no longer leak ShipLineEntry objects.
  • SpeedGroups are now properly pooled and no longer leak memory. Additionally, to aid in that the faction object now uses the new ProtectedList<> to manage that aspect of them, which works very very well.
  • MapConfiguration is not pooled, but no longer leaks because we have refactored it to be an immutable part of the WorldSetup objects.
    • Interestingly, this does solve a random potential bug that we found in WorldSetups and how they copied themselves between one another.
  • A variety of private and internal data on planets is now properly cleared for pooling purposes, thus fixing some bugs that we had in there.
    • Same for the world objects, planetfactions, and galaxy.
  • HistoricalData has been set up in a non-pooled-but-subordinate fashion for both the world and faction objects, which again prevents memory leaks.
  • Factions themselves are now pooled, which was another one of the single largest remaining issue areas.
  • PlannedFlows_ForUI on factions has been converted to the more-efficient PlannedFlowsByPlanetIndex_ForUI.
    • It also has a few other supporting lists and such. It's more complicated now, but much more efficient at every stage and should not leak anymore.
  • Added a new ShipAssistanceData class, which is now used in place of a RefFourTuple that we used to use in part of the simulation logic for engineers and such.
    • This new object is pooled and handled way more gracefully than the old one was, thus also not generating work for the garbage collector.
  • A liberal use of ProtectedList<> around PlannedMetalFlow, ShipAssistanceData, and ShipLineEntry is our new strategy for attempting to keep them from leaking.
  • Lowered the range of the thread locking in ConcurrentPool and TimeBasedPool in order to make them less likely to deadlock.
  • For whatever reason, when we tried to implement per-generic-variant pooling via ConcurrentPool in ArcenOverLinkedList and ArcenLessLinkedList, we ran into infinite deadlocks. However, this was a major source of leakage (or at the very least, GC churn).
    • In the end, after experimenting for quite a while, we simply inlined a simpler version of ConcurrentPool directly in those linked list classes, with ConcurrentBag at the root rather than ConcurrentPool. It performs great, and the lack of leakage and deadlocks is confirmed.
  • Fireteams are now pooled. They are specifically a time-based pool, since there could be lingering wrong references to the disbanded fireteam for a bit, and we don't want to reassign the fireteam too quickly and confuse everything.
    • It takes a total of 61-90 seconds for a fireteam to come back out the other side of the pool and be reused, or instantly if the game is being restarted.
  • Added a new KeepTrackOfEveryItemEverAndRefillTheMainListWithThatOnGameRestart option to both ConcurrentPool<> and TimeBasedPool<>.
    • This option basically lets them act as usual DURING the execution of the game, but then lets them act differently during the same time a BetweenMapGenPoolBase<> would act.
    • This is useful for a number of cases, but Fireteams are the easiest to demonstrate.
      • During gameplay, there are absolutely times when a fireteam is retired, and it gets added back to the time-based pool and then pulled out in a while. If you have a ton of fireteams going on, or are playing for hours in one session, this is great news for you.
      • However, when the game is quit to the main menu, what happens to the background threads? They do get a quick courtesy notice of impending death (I think?), but ultimately they're just trashed. So if there were a bunch of fireteams in use in collections and such, those are now lost to time and won't ever be put back in the pool. Memory leak.
      • When those other background threads are resurrected for their next use when the player loads up another savegame without quitting the program, all of their lists and such are supposed to be cleaned out anyway. Any sort of data that is there is consider just something to bin. Old fireteam data, whatever. But the rest of the save has already been loaded, and any needed fireteams were already pulled from the central pool.
      • Therefore, using this in a hybrid manner like this, all those fireteams are recalled to the main pool and cannot possibly leak because we kept central references to all of them forever (until game stop). We have already pulled them back into the main body of their pool for use in the new savegame, and when these things are encountered as stale data on the background threads starting back up, those background threads should just completely ignore them.
    • Honestly, this is so stupidly useful as a fallback that we're now using this for pretty much every ConcurrentPool<> and TimeBasedPool<> except those used for the player account data. There were various things like PlannedMetalFlows and ShipLineEntries and such that kept having perplexing minor leaks between saves, probably again because of interrupted background threads. And while most of the other locations were no longer leaking, this is a nice safety valve just in case.
    • With this change in place, most of the ArcenExternalData that we were seeing leaking is also now fixed! There is still some unexplained growth in ShipLineEntries, but honestly that could be valid data that is changing during gameplay. At any rate, it's such a tiny amount of data (a few kilobytes per reload) that it's not worth chasing if it is a leak (which is is likely not).
  • Improved the pooling a bit on ArcenDelayedDeserializationBurst, and added more instrumentation. This is only for purposes of multiplayer. We'll see soon if it needs more work.
  • HackingEvent is now pooled between games. These are not reused or discarded during a given game, since they are logged permanently in a save, so this is a pretty simple one.
    • Same thing with tech history events.
    • Also journal entries / tips.
  • Fireteam history items are now pooled.
  • All of the various kinds of planet pathfinders are now pooled between games, and no longer leak.
  • At this point, when we repeatedly load a game and then quit to the main menu and then reload the game and let it run a bit and restart and so forth, we are leaking very little data. Less than 1MB on average at the moment, if that.
    • Previously, we were leaking somewhere between 20MB (when very fortunate) to 100MB (on average) to far far more (several hundred MB, or in some unlucky cases closer to a GB).
    • The solution here isn't super perfect, because mods in particular and other external factions can still leak and that's not centrally managed (well, not all of it is). However, there are a few mitigating factors there:
      • Firstly, if anything is leaking badly in those areas, the tools now exist to VERY easily track that (the ReferenceTracker is used all over the place in the codebase now and can be implemented with 3 lines of code and costs basically no CPU to implement). So if someone is suspicious of their code mod, or we have a faction that is misbehaving, we can easily identify that.
      • Secondly, anything that needs to be pooled can be, even from mods. Simply by registering as the proper kind of pooled object (there are several to choose from, and the code is very clear on those when compared to what it could be), this problem can be solved in a couple of minutes for any place that actually has a problem.
      • Thirdly, when it comes to external data that is "leaking" at the moment, honestly that is pretty likely to get picked up by the garbage collector. Things that don't get picked up by the GC are things that are referenced by other things. The outermost stuff tends to have very few references to it, and our central code intentionally severs those relationships, so in most cases those should just be garbage collected anyhow.
    • Overall this whole thing leads to faster loading times for savegames, faster map generation times in the lobby, MUCH faster loads of games after the first run in a program, and actually better framerates as well.
      • This also gives us the tools we need to check for multiplayer client performance issues, which we'll be doing soon.
  • Added in some more logging to some blind spots we had.
  • Fixed a during-game leak of ProjectedMultiPathData, and consequently also ArcenTwoDimensionalFlexibleList.
    • This was one of those things that would not be causing extra data on savegame load, but just steadily the longer you played.
  • Added a new ProtectedArcenSparseLookup<>. This is now used for EnergyConsumedPerFleet_ForUIOnly.
    • This was leaking a looot of data during actual gameplay. At best it was hammering the garbage collector.
    • For context, there were four thousand plus of these generated in five seconds of play. Now it generates and reuses just 170 (in a specific test case).
  • ThreatChunk is now handled like EnergyUsageData. This was generating thousands of extra entries on the GC per second before.
    • ThreatChunkCollection is now handled like EnergyUsageDataHolder. This was generating about 2000 of itself per five seconds before.
  • Decreased the generation of ArcenDoubleCharacterBuffers over a 5 second span of gameplay from about 3,000 to about 1,200. These do get garbage-collected anyhow, but they do go on the heap and it's far more efficient to reuse them rather than toss them away and create a new one.
  • Okay, re-coded the way that notifications are shown at the top of the screen from pretty much the ground up.
    • The DoubleBufferedPool has been removed from the codebase, as it only did one convoluted thing and possibly not correctly.
      • It's really difficult to achieve multiple layers of double buffering in sync, which is what that was about. For something less interconnected, our existing SwizzleList is the way to go.
    • These now use a completely different set of data structures, however, and their data is a lot more compact in terms of where you have to put information. You can also safely add hacking notifications from other locations other than the Human.cs class.
    • There's overall a singleton, and two pooled bundles of information that intersect with a pool of visual buttons, so this is still quite complex, but it's... better. And it gives the correct end result, which is what is most important of all.
  • Updated civilian industries to use the new kind of notifications, and fixed a major performance problem with those notifications while doing so. Those would churn the GC with almost two dozen extra lists of planets, and that many times as many wormholes were being raided (so 24 multiplied by wormhole count) calls to get the wormhole by ID. Perils of having a property that self-constructs itself on every call, because then using that property causes unexpected amounts of load.

Anti Memory Leak Tool For Developers And Modders

  • Updated our internal ReferenceTracker class so that it is extremely lightweight now and only tracks the number of objects created, not actually keeping WeakReference references to them (WeakReference is a way to make it still be GC collected but let us check on it).
    • Now we've got this in use in 80-something files, which (through class inheritance) hits several hundred overall object types.
    • In general, we can now see exactly where our memory leaks are simply by attaching one of these to a class, going into the game, hitting F15 (by default), then out of the game and back in and hit F15 again, then diff the two exports and you can see exactly where there are problems.
    • This is super duper hyper easy to use, and if you're a modder and wonder if any of your own classes are leaking, you can use this to find out.
    • Please bear in mind that this data CAN be misleading if you don't know how to read it.
      • Just because a number goes up doesn't mean there was a leak for sure. It might have been just needing more entries for a pool of objects, for instance.
      • Additionally, there are some classes that will get properly garbage-collected. You can create those over and over again and remove all references to them, and they'll show an increasing count in here but really the garbage collector is collecting them just fine.
        • Even though this would be "working fine," if the numbers are going up rapidly, that's just making the garbage collector work more, and hoping that it can keep up with things and doesn't think they're still linked. It's still better practice to pool those objects even if it's not technically a memory leak.
      • That said, if you see certain numbers go persistently up every time you reload the game or something along those lines, then you can be pretty darn sure that this must be a memory leak. Past a certain point, in large volume when we're talking about pooled objects, the only reason to create new objects is because we have discarded the old one. Do you trust that it was garbage-collected okay, or not?

Work On Regressions After Memory Leak Overhaul

  • New regression this build: Did a bunch of work trying to keep the notifications at the top of the screen from flickering, but they still do. The new method is at least more efficient in terms of not dirtying that UI canvas as frequently, and it uses clearer and more common sorting terminology as well.
    • The notifications were also prone to errors on clicking or on mouseover, and that seems to be solved now by these changes. The flicker itself is as bad as ever, though. Will need to look into that more, but will opt not to hold up this release for that.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen when entering a savegame or the lobby if by some magic accident there was no AI faction in there.
  • New debug setting in personal settings: Write Log Of Faction And Map Changes
    • When generating a new map in the lobby, or loading a savegame, or starting a quickstart, this will write details of when and where factions and other central mapdata is being added or removed into the main debug log. The only real reason to turn this on is you're missing a bunch of factions or you're surprised by the order they are in or something like that.
  • Solved a minor heap allocation for when finding the most annoying faction to another faction.
    • Also another one when getting the sorted list of factions for display in various places in the game.
  • Added a new ListWithLogging<> that can be used with game settings to help us debug when things are going in and out of them.
  • Quick starts can be loaded again, including into the lobby. The reasons for why they were messed up are pretty complicated and have to do with cached but cleared data. The way that we're handling this is still not ideal, and hitting custom game still breaks at the moment. I have an idea on a better way to handle this, though.
  • It would appear that quick starts, tutorials, the lobby, and so on all now work again, in addition to savegame loading working. This was hard-won, and I don't really trust it yet. But it seems to work so far!
    • Known issues:
      • Centering is off when going into the lobby usually the first time.
      • Still have the flickering going on with the notifications.
      • Unknown factor: not sure if we are clearing playeraccounts the proper amount, in multiplayer in particular. Will need testing by me.
      • Unknown factor: who knows what else is wrong. This has been a tectonic shift for the game. But those are the known issues, at least.
  • Fixed the issue with wormholes getting stale and acting super strange. They now behave completely properly. This was one of the more annoying regressions from the new caching stuff.
    • It is probably going to be important to check that things like the Zenith Miner Mining, and any other units with particle effects (Zenith Miner Probe, etc) all are properly working and not getting stale, too.
    • Same deal with some of the special effects, like lightning blasts and such. Those haven't been tested yet, and are at a minor risk of having the same problem, although the code review looks good so far.

Mod Updates

  • Both macrophage histiocytes and the civilian industries mods have been updated to work with the new code patterns required by this release. Any other code mods will error out when trying to load the game, but most mods are xml so this is not a common problem.
  • AMU has also been updated to support the new coding standards.
  • Also Chrysalis Devourer and Kaizer's Marauders.
  • The only known code mod that is currently incompatible is The Reprocessors.

Beta 3.313 Input, Selection, And Flagships

(Released July 16th, 2021)

There are a lot of very core changes in here, so we want to make sure to get all that fixed up before inflicting it on everyone!

  • Non-friendly (neutral or hostile) cloaked ships are now invisible on the planet sidebar. It shows them in the unit counts, so you know something is there, but it does not show any icons for them.

Selection Improvements

  • You can now right-click units on the planet sidebar to have your selected ships do whatever it was that would normally happen in such a situation. (Attack, assist, etc.)
    • Thanks to Ithuriel0, Daw11, and mahisev350 for suggesting.
  • It is now possible to select units of other factions, even enemy ones, if you directly click on them. Drag-selecting will not select them, and you cannot give them orders.
    • However, this can be a really handy way to left-click some enemy group on the sidebar and suddenly see all of them with selection circles, for instance.
    • This also allows you to select things that you have not yet claimed, and pause them before the claim process even starts, if you wish.
    • Thanks to Apthorpe and others for inspiring this change.
    • This also solves a problem where if you had a pauseable object that dies to neutral status, and it was paused when it died, you could never unpause it. Now you can.
      • Thanks to John for reporting this one.
  • New feature: if double-clicking any unit on the galaxy map, switch to that planet and focus on it.
    • Also you can right-click enemies on the galaxy map to have your selected units go attack it.
    • Thanks to UncleYar for suggesting.

Expansion of Stationary Flagship Mode

  • Okay, stationary flagship mode.
    • Historically, this means that if you are in that mode with a fleet, then all orders to that flagship are ignored, but passed to any fleet members. This is very useful!
      • As part of this, you can cut through the stationary nature of your flagship by holding Z and having the flagship still follow a given order.
      • HOWEVER, until now, any orders that you were to give with it in this mode that were meant to cut through after orders that were not would be in stasis forever. First change is that now those later orders are processed.
    • Secondly, now for flagships in general, if you wish to hold down Z while giving an order even when it is NOT in stationary flagship mode, that order will be treated as if it is in stationary flagship mode for that order only.
      • This lets you have a flagship in normal mode, but quickly exempt it from some orders that you want the rest of the fleet to keep up with.
    • Additionally, since this keeps looking for more orders that are valid in general, it will find the ones that can never be blocked by stationary mode (directly), like load and unload transport orders. Previously it was possible for those to get stuck behind a bunch of ignored orders.
      • Thanks to Zer0h1nder for reporting this problem with loading and unloading.
    • Thanks to aliyah and Zweihand for suggesting this extension of stationary flagship mode.

Input Underlying Overhaul

  • Pretty much completely re-coded the bottommost layer of our input handling controls for the game.
    • Essentially, the way we detect button presses, double-presses, and such has been rewritten mostly from scratch.
    • The way that we detect button combos and things like that has been kept intact for the most part, but expanded a bit so that we can now specify when a combo should be blocking or when it should be ignore any conflicts. For instance: range displays need to block lower combos, but holding Shift or Ctrl does all sorts of other things that should not block each other.
    • Among these changes are that if you move your mouse substantially (more than the 60px on 1080p, and the equivalent on larger or smaller resolutions), then any mouse clicks of any button are ignored (you moved the mouse that much from pushing it in to letting it out).
      • This specifically keeps things like the right mouse button from triggering movement orders to units if you have rebound your camera pan to that key, as an example, because even small camera pans will be on the order of more than 60px. Normally mouse pan is middle mouse button anyway, but this does solve an issue for those who want to rebind.
        • Thanks to [SQ UA] k1r0ck for reporting this one.
    • Another thing that this now does is, for double-clicks of a mouse button, you must be even more precise. If you move your mouse more than 20px on 1080p (or the equivalent on other resolutions), it treats it as just two single clicks, not one doubleclick.
      • This is very useful when you are clicking around selecting lots of enemy (or your own) units fairly close together on the galaxy map, as one example.
    • Overall the rest of the math has just been simplified, and it should hopefully use less CPU to calculate, not that it was a huge load in the first place.
    • One notable change is that various things used to be triggered on key DOWN. That's something we are never ever doing, now. We do still check for keys being held down (of course), but actual key presses as a discrete event should always be on key UP.
      • This change makes it so that when you do something like submit on a chat box it only sends one key press instead of an arbitrary number of them based on how many milliseconds you held down the key and what your framerate is. At any rate, this is something that we already did for a lot of our keys, but we now do for all of them.
      • Actually, for double clicks / double presses, we were measuring the time from the end of the first up event to the start of the next down event. Now we measure up to up, which again helps to measure intentionality.

Bugfixes And Tweaks

  • The game is now much more efficient when checking for cloaking on units. Since most units don't have cloaking, it's now able to early-out a lot faster.
  • Fixed a bug when clicking units that could potentially have made the modifiers not work properly when you were directly clicking units rather than drag-selecting.
    • It's unclear if anyone ever experienced this, but the code was wrong.
  • If you have already won the game (or lost it), then up at the top of the screen it normally says if it is paused or not there. But instead it is only showing that the game was won or lost.
    • It's worth noting that you could always already look down to the clock and see that the game was paused or running.
    • But now in the ongoing messages window on the right of the screen (where chat and such comes from), it now shows orange text with whether or not the game is paused IF you have already won or lost (that way there's still an obvious place to see it).
    • Thanks to... someone? For reporting this.
  • When the game does not have focus, and thus the keyboard and mouse should be ignored (because nothing is worse than giving orders to your stuff while you're tabbed out), it now SHOWS that it has no focus with a red message on the sidebar.
    • This is a perfectly valid state for the game to be in at times, when you're clicking in and out or when the game is windowed and you focus another window to type, etc.
    • The risk is, of course, that the game might ignore input if you've come back to it and the unity engine didn't tell us properly. With recent versions of OSX, sometimes there's a bug where fullscreen games have the dock sticking around in their way at the bottom until you alt-tab in twice after certain times alt-tabbing out, too.
    • In any of those cases, you no longer have to wonder if input isn't being registered or not. This only shows in-game, not in the lobby, as mouse clicks register all the time either way, so buttons will be functional but typing, hotkeys, and hovering would not.
  • If you have the frequency of autosaves set to 0, it now actually properly disables those (as the tooltips say it should) rather than running them constantly.
    • Thanks to Sigma7 for reporting.
  • The game now throws an error if there are missing icons associated with any ships or structures.
    • These behave incredibly strangely, and may cause a memory leak on top of that.
  • Polarizers were missing their icon being assigned to themselves, although they had icons created for them. They now use them properly.
    • Thanks to Darkshade, Timerlane, and Chuito12 for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception related to the recent line changes that could happen in GameEntity_Squad.ClearForReturningToPool(). Also put in defensive code against a few other things that were working fine, but you never know.
    • This was likely also a bit of a memory leak, with it not properly clearing some units.
    • Thanks to Daniexpert for reporting.

3.312 Hotfix

(Released July 16th, 2021)

  • Fix a threading problem with the Dark Zenith that could cause errors when you had multiple Dark Zenith and/or Svikari factions on certain CPUs.
    • Since Badger is the only person to notice this it must be rather hard to hit?
  • The "Show Destination Point" in the unit hovertext now matches with how ArcenPoints in other debugging code
  • Add some debugging code for the EntityOrderCollection which was handy for chasing down some engineer order problems.
    • This code is currently unused, but I bet someone else will need it down the road
  • Fixed a bug where the game was complaining in the prior build about missing ArcenNetworkLib. It was a compile chain error at the last moment before release that didn't get caught.
    • Thanks to andreykl, donblas, StarKelp, Zweihand, and Strategic Sage for reporting.

3.311 Engineer Multitasking

(Released July 15th, 2021)

  • Fixed it up so that invalid move orders (orders to move to the null location) are now ignored when they are issued via gamecommand. This is likely a faction or mod making a mistake, or some sort of funky UI interaction, but either way it's something to ignore as invalid input.
    • Thanks to dEAdOnE77 for reporting.
  • Updated ambush carrier descriptions to explicitly state the launch of raptor drones. Buffed raptor drone count to scale with mark (0.3 per mark added).
    • Thanks to Zweihand for updating.

Further Engineer And Line Improvements

  • The terminology for the metal flows, and engineers building things, has been improved in the tooltips and the menus.
  • Fixed an issue in the prior version where metal flows that were for the purposes of assisting a factory were not drawn at all.
    • In general this now means you can see all of the assistance lines, which really clears up what engineers are doing. Sometimes they seemed to only be doing one thing, not what you said, but really they were doing three things, but two of them invisible, and one of those was what you said.
    • The multitasking of engineers is not new and has been around since the dawn of the game, but now you can actually see that happening for the first time. It's vastly more clear (and quite satisfying) to see what they are doing.
  • Fixed a couple of issues in the prior version with some extra metal flows being reported, but not actually being on.
  • In the tooltips, behind the various types of metal flows that a unit can do, it now shows you what it is actually doing with that flow, if anything. So if it's repairing something, or building something, or repairing shields and hull both at once... it shows all of that.
  • Spire Shipyards now have a construction priority of 200.
    • Shard reactors 150.
    • Galactic capitol and city hub 400.
    • Neural nets now 100.
    • Great-shield now 380.
  • If you have the debug output on for the tooltips, you can now see details of the outgoing lines when you view the full tooltip. (Before it just showed the number of outgoing lines, not any details.)
    • Additionally, if you have the debug info on, you can now see metal flow details for any ship that you're hovering over, with a similar level of detail to the outgoing lines.
  • When metal flow validity is calculated, it now includes the radius of the two units when determining how far apart they are.
    • Previously, the assister had to have its center within range of the center of the thing it was going to help.
    • Now the assister has to have its outer edge within range of the outer edge of the thing it is going to help.
    • Most assisters are quite small, so on that side it doesn't change much. But if they are assisting something very large, they no longer have to crowd up on it.
  • Improved the efficiency of units doing repairs a bit when it comes to CPU calculations during the simulation. It now leans a bit more ones from the background thread.
  • A variety of logic on the engineer metal flows thread is now better about listening to your explicit orders to an engineer even when it has no valid targets in range.
  • All of the ship to ship lines have been updated in terms of how they draw. Most of them (all but chain lightning) now use the geometry queue rather than the transparent queue, and are based around additive math.
    • This gives a really dramatic performance boost while having almost identical visuals. But while we were at it, we also made the visuals nicer.
    • Tractor beams are a nicer texture, repair and starved repair lines are nicer (they were kind of tacky before), and there are all-new lines for assistance to factories or to self-building. Claim lines are now gold rather than green or white, and have a nicer pattern.
  • Added a new DoForFactionsParallel() method. This has limited uses, but certainly some.
    • Added a new way that our metal outflows are calculated, especially when it's helpers across factions. This gets even more accurate and prevents helper factions from running themselves into negative metal.
  • Fixed a number of misleading things in the metal expenditures on the UI, such as repairs to personal shields that were free or engines showing up as costs.
  • Fixed some bugs with the benefits of cross-faction repairs not always showing up, at least not in the last build's version. Not sure if it worked prior to that.
  • Fixed up yet MORE ways in which the target you had selected for an engineer might be ignored if no targets were in range.
  • Fixed an issue where if you gave an explicit assist order to an engineer, sometimes it would stop too far out of range of actually doing that assistance.

Mod Updates

  • More Starting Fleets update:
    • Updated mod description. Updated mod by buffing carrier fleet with additional ramifier frigate and adding the destruction fleet. The destruction fleet is a siege + splash focused fleet meant for destruction.

Beta 3.310 Engineering Intelligence Injection

(Released July 14th, 2021)

  • New setting under the network category in personal settings, under a new privacy subsection: Hide IP Address In Lobby And Esc Menu
    • Normally we show your IP Address in those windows in case you need them. However, if you are planning to stream the game, this is not informmation you would want visible in your stream, so this lets you turn it off.
    • Please note that you would still need to obscure the actual connection screen with your streaming software, because we can't really hide that IP while still making the screen useful to you.
    • Thanks to Meggertroll for suggesting.
  • Put in defensive code in the unity post processing stack v1 code so that it can't spam the player.log while trying to see if some unused components should be turned on. This was new in the prior build, and contrary to being a minor annoyance, it was actually something that was a memory leak and a major performance degradation from how much it was invisibly flooding things.
    • Thanks to Daniexpert for first reporting how severe it could become.

Simulation Improvements

  • The "Guarding" field on units been renamed to GuardedUnit.
    • This may or may not mess with some mods, but we're trying to clear up some semantics and also verify where everything is being used, since misuse internally was leading to some bugs.
    • The "GuardingOffsets" list field on units has been renamed to GuardOrPatrolOffsetPoints for the same reason. This has multiple uses, and in the end we are keeping those, but making some other changes.
    • The NextGuardingOffsetIndex field on units has been renamed to NextGuardOrPatrolOffsetPointIndex, which again makes that way more clear.
  • Various cleanup and fixes related to guarding units and so on:
    • When serializing a guarded unit, it no longer serializes dead or missing ones.
    • When deserializing a guarded unit from disk, it therefore now complains about dead or missing ones. When deserializing on an MP client, it no longer overwrites the ID with blank if it can't find it, though. This is an order of operations thing, potentially.
    • When guards are freed by an alarm, it is now more explicit about freeing patrollers that have no central unit they are guarding, if that's even possible (it may not be, but no chances).
    • When AddToNewPlanet() is called, it now clears all of the guard and patrol information. Badger had discovered that this was the source of some insanity with engineers running off to places they should not.
    • There is a new IsMobileAndHasRepairOrAssistConstructionFlowsOrIsMobileMeleeUnitfield used for things that would need a "return to" point during pursuit mode. Mainly engineers and combat factories and similar. The GuardOrPatrolOffsetPoint is now only set for units where that is true when the player gives a move order. This is more efficient in general, and leads to not having some strange data in there for other types of units.
      • It turns out this is also needed for mobile melee units belonging to players.
    • During decollision orders, it was assigning the engineer "return to" point, which was a very strange thing and was probably the root of the original problem with them returning to a decollision-like coordinate in the first place. Of course we don't want that in there in general with them moving between planets (and that was already taken care of above), but this certainly didn't help and might have let some issues squeak through, just more rarely.
    • Added moves_back_after_being_norrised="true" as a replacement for the tag "MovesBackAfterBeingNorrised". This is a lot more efficient to check on units.
    • Overall things here were not as dire as they could have been, but this should correct some of the issues that people were observing with engineers being a bit looney at times. And if there were other really rare edge cases, this should also catch those.
    • Thanks to Ryulong, aliyah, and others for reporting.
  • Fixed a longstanding issue from the last few months where ship to ship lines were sometimes not drawn. This had to do with how we were pooling them, and whether they noticed they had out of date information or not.
    • Overall the fix was to just structure this so it was more clear, and that sorted out the issues on its own.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage, trigorin, Isiel, Darkshade, Gdrk, Daniexpert, and others for reporting.

Engineer Logic And Metal Flows

Please note. While engineer logic seems to be better than before, we are still observing them making choices contrary to the new rules, as well as sometimes running back and forth in strange ways. Those bits are under investigation, but we figured we'd do a beta release anyhow in the meantime.

  • Fixed a longstanding bug in engineer move code that made them move in fits and spurts toward distant targets.
    • Rather than moving gracefully from spot to spot (and going all the way there without being indecisive), their movement orders were instead "go 8/10ths of my assistance range and then reconsider who to even help." That... is not logic that makes sense or that is helpful.
    • The logic was an accidental inversion. We calculated the angle from the engineer to the target, and then a point at that angle from the engineer that was 8/10s of the assistance range of the engineer. The engineer was told to go there. This is wrong/
    • Instead we now calculate the angle from the target to the engineer, and then a point at that angle from the target that is 8/10ths of the assistance range of the engineer. This properly gets the engineer to go in range, and then actually help the target.
    • Engineers greatly prefer to help targets in range of themselves, so the odds of them getting indecisive like before is very very low. The problem was when they stopped in the middle and rethought things.
    • Why 80% of their range? Well, because there are usually a clump of them. This gives them room to decollide without going back out of range. Them moving in a clump is actually one of the more efficient ways to get things up and running as fast as possible, so making room for that was always a good idea.
    • Thanks to Daniexpert, Detlef, and others for reporting.
  • Added a new construction_priority="num" field for units.
    • This is by default 0 for everything.
    • Engineers now have priority 600, since engineers helping build other engineers first is wise for getting things off the ground.
    • Command stations now have priority 500, since engineers helping build those is the next most important thing.
    • Forcefields now have priority 400, since that's the next most important thing.
    • Factories now have priority 200, since getting them producing ships sooner than later is good.
    • Metal harvesters / asteroid mine and powerplanets now have priority 150, since that's economically a very fast need.
    • Tractor arrays and turrets now have priority 50, to get them up sooner than later.
    • This is all configured in xml, so it can be adjusted by modders or volunteers or otherwise.
    • Normally these construction projecets will be the first things that engineers do on their own, unless there is an emergency repair that is required.
  • Added a new emergency_repair_priority_if_below_percentage="num" for units, with an optional emergency_repair_only_if_engineer_modulus_of="num"
    • The former is set to 70% for all command stations at the moment, and 90% for the home command. They often go down fast once they are targeted.
    • Forcefield generators are set to 70% on the former, BUT a modulus of 4 for the latter. Essentially what this means is that roughly 1 in 4 engineers will break off to repair forcefields that are this damaged. The numbers will never be even close to exact, because it's based on their PKID, which is not linearly distributed between them. So it could be grossly different from 1/4; anything from 0% to 100% of them could do it.
  • Essentially, engineers will now:
    • First do any emergency repairs. In some cases, only some engineers will be diverted for emergencies based on the definition at that target.
    • Then do the construction of all sorts, based on priority.
    • Then sort for the highest priority flow, and if there are multiple of those, then the closest.
      • Flow priorities are something that have been in the game forever, and they have always been quite useful, but now we're overriding those with some better logic for multiple passes, essentially.
    • Also players can give overrriding orders and they'll do that thing until it's finished (for instance if you want some on factory assistance from early on in).
    • Thanks to various folks for suggestions, including yupyip and Wuffell.
  • Several efficiency improvements have been made in the code for engineers figuring out which targets they can repair.
  • Remains rebuilding now works for allied units, not just your own. This is probably only relevant in multiplayer, but would work with NPC factions if any started using that mechanic.
    • We didn't make an option for this, because it's so cheap to do (flip the remains back into a to-construct state) that it's not going to bother anyone. The actual repairs that would happen after being flipped from remains back to normal would only happen if you have Repair Allied Units on, and that's where the costs are.
  • A new "Assist Allied Factories" setting has been added in the galaxy map options, under allies economics.
    • As with "Repair Allied Units", this works with both NPCs and other players. In this case it is about helping with boosting factories, though. This defaults to on.
    • Previously, player engineers would never assist allied faction's factories at all.
    • Thanks to Chthon for suggesting.
  • Also added "Factories Build For Allies" to the same location:
    • With this enabled, your factories will build ships for the fleets of allied factions. Note that specialized factories (like Spire ones) will always build for allied fleets of their sort, regardless of this setting.
    • This also defaults to on.
    • Thanks to Chthon for suggesting.
  • Previously, the list of fleets that a factory was building for was calculated separately on the main thread and was inaccurate.
    • It's now calculated right where the actual assistance logic happens, on a nice background thread for extra speed, and thus also gives fully accurate results.
    • Additionally, this no longer includes fleets that are empty or where all the ship lines are disabled from construction, or where the fleet can't build anything in a factory style.
  • Added a new "is_ignored_by_factories" option to units so that we can mark things like metal harvesters that don't self-construct but also don't get built by factories.
    • This helps us limit down the list of fleets where there's actually something for a factory to help. Previously this wasn't visible in the UI, but was wasting a very minor bit of time on the backend (and with the other recent changes, now it was visible in the UI).
  • Split "Repair Allied Units" into two settings: "Repair Other Player Units" (defaults to on) and "Repair NPC Allied Units" (defaults to off).
    • Thanks to Zeus for inspiring this change.
  • The internal logic for how construction assistance is calculated as desirable has been adjust a bunch to make it smarter.
    • There were a number of funky things that could happen in there before, but the logic has been streamlined and now matches the above logic described.
    • It was also possible for engineers in pursuit mode to invisibly help other units beyond their actual assistance range, and that was only detectable based on the metal flows pane. That's also fixed.
    • The revised method for this allows for engineers to have targets that are out of their range (and then decide between them in the moment), but not to magically boost things that are extra far away.
      • Thanks to Daniexpert for reporting this latter problem.
  • In multiplayer, if your engineers are helping to claim something on the planet of another player, then when claimed the unit or structure will belong to the planet owner instead of you.
    • These units can be freely swapped around anyhow, but generally this sort of claim-sniping is accidental and frustrating.
    • Thanks to Tzarro for reporting.
  • Structures under construction should no longer complete themselves if it would put you into negative energy balance.
    • Brownouts are already more forgiving, but in general this is good policy.
  • The way that metal is spent by engineers assisting construction of units, or assisting factory production of units, is now completely different.
    • Now rather than showing as excess construction costs on the target (in the metal expenditure details), it now shows as an engineer expense separately.
    • This also fixes an issue in that it was charging the other faction rather than you. So if Alice has engineers help Bob build a thing, Bob was paying for those engineers, which is kind of missing the point. Now Alice pays for the work of her own engineers.
      • This pretty much only comes up in multiplayer, and has just been on our todo list for a long while. Engineers doing repairs has always worked properly (so if Alice was allied to the Dark Spire and repairing their ships, it would charge her and not them, etc. Same with Alice repairing Bob ships).
  • Previously we had a single "AssistConstruction" metal flow purpose (action) for engineers and otherwise, and that was problematic for a lot of reasons.
    • Essentially, helping build a structure or helping a factory churn out units are two different actions with different code needed to really have the intelligence work properly, so we have AssistSelfConstruction and AssistFactoryConstruction now.
    • You can still define ships in xml as having "AssistConstruction" and it will give them the same benefit to both of those things internally. So this won't break mod xml.
      • However, we are making the deliberate choice to make it so that, for instance, the Engineering Factory cannot assist the construction of other factories (just structures).
  • We have also had to add a new "Assist Allied Construction" option, since this is now distinct.
    • With this enabled, your engineers will assist the construction of allied faction structures.
  • Added a new personal setting in the debug category: "Include IDs On Targets In Metal Flows Window"
    • When this is on, any targets of metal flows (left click the metal indicator in your HUD) will include the IDs so that you can tell when there are referrals to the same unit versus different ones.
  • Fixed an issue where if you had given a direct order to an engineer to assist something, it would do some or all of the following:
    • Not go repair that thing because it was out of range.
    • Go and do lots of other kinds of repairs that were completely invalid, but charge you for them (aka, don't just boost the factory, but also self-build it when it's already built, and repair its hull when it is at full hull), in addition to whatever it was you intended them to do.

Visual Improvements

  • The shaders for the characters in the background on the main menu hangar scene are now more traditional. They no longer look glistening and metallic, and the rolling normal maps that caused an aliasing-like distortion is no longer there.
  • The scaling of the expansion logos on the main menu has been adjusted so that none of them are cut off, and all of them have a similar font size (before, shorter titles wound up taking up the same amount of horizontal space, making their font much larger).
  • Adjusted it so that ship to ship lines do not disappear when you pause the game.
    • It was still decrementing their time to live timers, when really it should not have been while the game is in a paused state.
  • Fixed a super mega ultra longstanding issue from the last five years where shots would gradually ease in and out of motion when you paused the game.
    • Also, things like explosions, lightning blasts, and most other special effects now pause when the game is paused. So does the planet rotation in the background.
    • Things that are purely vertex animations, like stationary structures rotating, or forcefields pulsing, do not pause.
  • Individual ships now do a better cleanup pass on themselves if they think they might have had lines associated with themselves.
    • If those lines are not related to themselves, then it's time to remove the references.
    • If those lines ARE related to themselves, but are on a different planet or have timed out, then they delete them and remove the reference.
  • Found an issue where we were resetting our line IDs back to zero at various points making indexing them a massive problem.
    • This in turn was probably what was leading to some lines getting left over on the screen from time to time.
  • ArcenGameObjectResourcePools now keep explicit track of every item they have ever created. These are in both managed and unmanaged memory, so that's kind of a wise idea.
    • Added a DoForEveryIArcenGameObjectResourcePoolable() on that class for us to be able to iterate these from code.
    • There is now a DeactivateAndReturnToPoolAnyIArcenShipToShipLineIfActiveAndMistakenlyEnabled() that is run every frame, looking for invalid lines.
      • Overall it should be pretty efficient, because there's only a pool of a thousand or so lines to begin with, and almost all of them are dormant most of the time.
      • We have tested this and found that it is actively clearing some lines, potentially those that were not quite yet to the point of clearing themselves from some other context (since this particular action can only happen on the main thread). The CPU impact is negligible, and this should make it impossible for lines to hang around even a single frame longer than they are supposed to be.
    • Thanks to ZeroTheHero and others for reporting.
  • The Spire Repair Center now has a proper shortname for the sidebar, instead of still saying Spire ENG Center.
    • Thanks to Darkshade for reporting.
  • Random "UnityEngine.PostProcessing.EyeAdaptationComponent.get_active ()" exceptions should no longer ever happen. They didn't hurt anything, but were annoying.
    • Thanks to Badger, Daniexpert, and Strategic Sage for reporting it. Chris was also seeing it.
  • Stinger bolts and certain other weapons previously had text that read along these lines: "If the target has a max bubble forcefield strength of more than [10,000], then the above weapon does [4x] damage to the target's shields (personal or bubble-forcefield)"
    • This has been corrected to say "If the target has a max bubble forcefield strength of more than [10,000], then the above weapon does [4x] damage to the target's bubble-forcefield."
    • Thanks to GreatYng for reporting.

Mod Updates

  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • The Fortified Forceshield Generator now uses moves_back_after_being_norrised="true" instead of the tag "MovesBackAfterBeingNorrised".

3.309 Hangar Staff

(Released July 12th, 2021)

Hacking Estimate Improvements

  • Hacks against planets (weaken turrets/guardposts) now have a strength estimate
  • The following minor faction hacks now also have estimates
    • The DZ Library hack to get ship lines
    • The "Get Scourge Allies" and the "Cause DZ to appear" hacks
    • The Contact Outguard hack as well
      • Like all hack estimates, these are ballpark at best.
      • The hacking history now also records the approximate response to your hacks when appropriate
        • From a discussion with an anonymous newbie dunce wearing a silly hat

Battle Indicator QoL tweaks

  • The goal is to make the indicators more likely to be useful indicators of important battles that you care about
    • Indicators no longer appear on unexplored planets
    • Indicators no longer appear on Dyson or Nomad planets unless you have forces there (these indicators tend to be Always On)
    • Indicators are now allowed to appear on AI planets if you have forces there.
    • Very small battles that don't involve your forces won't appear
      • Prompted by a discussion with Metrekec and Evil Bistro

Main Menu Hangar Scene Visual And Performance Improvements

  • The shaders used for the ships and walls and such on the main menu have been completely reworked.
    • The logos on the wall have been made a lot more efficient. The DLC ones were causing many extra draw calls, while the Arcen one was 400% more polygons than it should have been ugh!
    • The main menu now uses the Deferred rendering pipeline, which is more efficient when you have a lot of light sources, rather than using the Forward render pipeline. This is something we did in our title Release Raptor, and other unreleased titles, but it never seemed to have relevance in AI War 2 until now.
      • At this point, the main menu was doing double or triple work a lot of the time, according to our investigating with the Frame Debugger, because it had multiple light sources hitting many large objects that each had lots of draw calls.
    • Now that this is in deferred rendering path, the overall visuals of the main menu hangar scene are a bit different. The lighting is different, and overall blends differently.
      • The first thing that needed to be adjusted was the ships themselves. They're now darker and more menacing, fitting better with the theme here.
      • The second thing is a few of the materials which were overly reflective when in the Deferred path. Those have been adjusted.
      • Thirdly, we were already using Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) on this scene to make it look nicer, but that has been made much more substantial so there is more of a feeling of contrast between light and shadow, and because otherwise some of the background elements seem to otherwise be disconnected from their surroundings based on how their materials were.
    • At this point, it's clear that one of the remaining MAJOR sources of load on the main menu is the Reflection Probe, which is running in realtime. It's time-sliced to do all the sides at once every so often, so essentially it causes a quadrupling of load every few frames.
      • But just what exactly are we meaning to reflect? The dramatic skybox is really what we want to see from this reflection probe that we can't get any other way. In the past, with the reflection probe doing all the work, it was impossible to do more time-slicing or anything else to make it more efficient or it would look jerky. But now that we're in the Deferred pipeline here, we have a depth buffer (beyond the basic zbuffer) and way more info.
      • With that in mind, the first step was to disable the reflection probe and see if we could get that to work. Short answer: not really. The scene is super dark and strange without the reflection probe at all.
      • The next step is to implement Screen Space Reflections (SSR), which again is something we've used in other projects many times. We just went with the basic Unity implementation, as we don't need something super fancy.
        • The initial results from THAT are actually quite impressive. Most notably, it makes the reflections from the emissive light sources a lot more dramatic. That's cool! But, of course, since the skybox is a very small part of the screen, it contributes very little light to it. So overall the scene is very dark and doesn't have that periodic bright lightness to it like before.
      • Next step is turning back on the reflection probe, but time-sliced to only update one side at a time (previously this caused things to look jerky). Since we're now blending two layers of reflection, the jerkiness is entirely gone!
      • But even so, now it's time to turn our attention to what the reflection probe is reflecting. It simply needs to reflect the sky. Not the walls, not the floor, not the ships -- the SSR already takes care of those things, and in a none-frame-jittery way. Those are the bits that jitter even now. PLUS, it's drawing all that geometry for the reflection probe that makes it take so long. What if it... skipped most of that?
        • Therefore, we moved the skybox into its own layer, and two blocking planes as lighting mats to prevent certain kinds of unrealistic light bleed. It's like a movie set, the lighting gets bounced how we want by stuff just off camera. At any rate, now the reflection probe just reflects those dark mats and the sky, and it blends perfectly with the SSR at a teeny tiny fraction of the processing power, AND it's time sliced. Major win.
    • Finally, by using Mesh Combine Studio, we were able to split the main hangar itself into more sub-objects and also batch them a bit more efficiently. Overall this is a lot more efficient than sending a ton (12) of submeshes to the GPU all at once. For weaker GPUs in particular, or weaker GPU buses, this was probably the main bottleneck. Overall we also were able to scrape out even some more polygons with this.
    • Oh yes, and we also no longer draw the loading screen and all its special post processing effects behind the main hangar scene. That was a real waste of processing.
    • The final result is a scene that looks very similar, but actually more grounded and dramatic, plus way more efficient. Draw calls are down from the 300s to the 120ish range, and total vertices drawn are now about 60-something thousand rather than over 400 thousand. The actual UI part is still drawn with a Forward camera and is still as sharp and normal as ever. Because of the revisions to how the reflection probe is integrated, more of the scene actually gets lighting contribution from the outside sky, which also looks even better. Chris's machine went from about 100fps on it to closer to 140fps.
  • Okay, another round of major changes to the main menu scene. The prior version that we had completed for this build was very high performance, but... bland. The lighting was not reflective at all, and so there was this odd flatness and dullness to things. That's no good at all.
    • Then also we lost some of the combination work, and had to recreate it from better-looking originals that actually turned out to be quite low-poly. So that completely reworked the roof rafters and the front door area.
    • We then added in a ton of uv emission animations and uv normal map animations, which are things that make static surfaces seem to come alive in various ways. We added more details in various points, too, to continue to break things up.
    • The reflection probe is back and no longer time-sliced at ALL, but this winds up only sacrificing 6fps on the really old OSX machine because of the layer mask used for it, and that helps bring the scene back to life more.
    • But even so, it would be great if this felt more alive in general, so we added distant lights in the rafters, lights along the launch strip, and so on. There's also a new robotic arm that can be animated later, but for now it sits still.
    • Another longtime request was to have some people moving around in here. At first I added just two folks fully suited-up talking to one another by the door. Their conversation is randomized and all in body language.
    • After discussions on discord, I also added a third guy standing nearby ignoring the first two and looking really impatient with the door. He swings his arms, checks his watch, stomps his foot, crosses his arms, and a variety of other things over time. There's also a fourth guy who sits way over by himself amongst some machinery he is probably not supposed to be in. He just kind of sits there bored, looking around a bit.
    • The launch animations had a few problems that were apparent now with the revised exit doors, and so those all have been updated slightly to make them more smooth and so that there is no "pop out" period in terms of the reflections.
    • With two characters, fps on the ancient mac was 30 fps. With four characters, it's 29. But it's still far more smooth than it used to be on that machine, while also way more visually interesting. In other words it's not a laggy 30fps, unlike before (where it was 24fps anyway). On my nicer machine, I get around 75-90 fps still, and the fan doesn't even turn on. Hopefully that will be the case for more people, although that machine is running a GTX 1070 M.
    • After more discussion on discord, a small transparent safety barrier was added on the side where most of the characters are. It would not meet OSHA guidelines, but it will keep them from the worst of falls.
      • We temporarily experimented with characters that were having floating conversations, but there's no way to make that look fully natural because hand motions would normally impart a spin, and that would devolve quickly. You can see videos of all these intermediate versions on discord, if you're curious! It's in the watch_chris_art subchannel.

More Visual Updates And Additions

  • All of the wormhole graphics have been updated to a new particle effect that is a bit more funnel-like, and which shows brighter colors for the various types of planet you might be looking at through it.
    • It still doesn't have a mouseover effect, which is a bit odd and something we plan to improve at some point in the future.
    • Thanks to nas1m, NR SirLimbo, and Evil Bistro for seeing some of the particle work I was doing and suggesting it be adapted to the wormholes.
  • The metal harvesters, and the empty asteroids when they are not yet built, now have improved graphics (base game).
    • Essentially, the rocks look like they have better lighting and look more rocky.
    • And instead of the domes just glowing like a lunatic, they look like they have subsurface scattering (it's a paint effect, not math), and the entire structure looks more weathered and beat-up.
  • The Swarm Cruiser (ZO) has been updated to now have 3 LODs rather than none.
  • Various units from ZO with new art:
    • Lockdown cruiser, Ethereal Cruiser.
    • Minelayer frigate, Gravitational Rift, Spymaster, Ambush Post, Unstable Gravity Generator.
    • Starburst (weapon), Gridlock (weapon device), Deadlock (weapon device).
    • Ambush drone, Hoplite drone, Murderfly, Reclamation drone.
    • Disabled nomad nexus, Hacked nomad nexus, Crashing nomad nexus.
    • Demeter's Cornucopia.
    • Zenith Miner Probe (complete with scanning visual effects)

Tweaks And Fixes

  • FixedResourceTextStats now requires a name for the resource, and has a string for the resource name in its color. This way it's always accessible.
  • For Spire Relic Trains, I have rewritten the hovertext for this notification for improved clarity, and also improved the "pick next planet to for relic train" logic to help it find some better planets
    • Thanks to Evil Bistro for reporting
  • Renamed our "SelectionManager" class to "PlanetViewSelectionManager," since that was conflicting with a built-in unity class otherwise.
  • Put in some code to prevent larger damage from anything InitializeSquad() gets wrong, as well as more info to let us know what happened if it does go wrong.
    • Such as when, for instance, the test chamber is instructed to initialize a ship that does not exist.

Mod Updates

  • AMU:
    • Created the utility functions getHopsToAnyAIPlanets() and getMaxHopsToAnyAIPlanet().
    • Created multiple new rollups for upcoming mods...
    • GameCommand_MoveAllToPlanet now has an optional destination location where ships will aim to move at.
    • Added a new GameCommand_MoveToPosition which can be used to simply move something to a position, no questions asked.
    • When PseudoTransformEntityType_ReturnNullIfClient now copies the seconds until repair is possible and the game second the planet was entered over from the old entity into the new entity.
      • This fixes transforming entities in AMU-derrived mods from being susceptible to ambush damage modifiers, or potentially having their own damage modifiers apply anew, as well as immediately regenerating shields (most notably and annoying when a Devourer from Devourer Chrysalis became enraged).
    • The DrawingBagBase class and its children can now use AdjustWeightBy and AdjustWeightTo functions.
  • Devourer Chrysalis:
    • Adjusted to AMU changes.
    • More fixes for the Hydra Devourer type:
      • Put in another fix for the Hydra Devourer heads having hacks. This required a fix from Vanilla code.
      • The Hydra Devourer head icons are now much smaller.
      • The artillery on greater heads can now target down to 7 tx units, and the artillery on lesser heads can go down to 6 tx.
      • The spawn frequency of heads was reduced to 20% of what it was.
      • The heads no longer grant science on death. Gaining 50k science from slaying a single head at the frequency those were appearing could be farmed for near infinite amounts of science.
    • Added instrumentation for an error in the enraged transformation code. It's unknown where it came from, everything looks fine, but if it appears again next time there should be more info.
      • Thanks to Isiel for reporting.
  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • The player variants of all Marauder Raiders are now bigger and have no more icon overlays, freeing the overlay up for the ship count contained.
  • The Reprocessors: Fixed spawning outside of gravity wells. If there is a bug then please message me on Discord.
  • Updated the Macrophage Histiocytes mod to not have too-long names for the sidebars.
  • Devourer Chrysalis:
    • Fixed some bad wording in the mod description.
  • Devourer Chrysalis:
    • The Hydra Devourer lesser heads don't spawn themselves in an infinite, ever-increasing loop any more.
      • Thanks to Lord Of Nothing for reporting.
  • Devourer Chrysalis:
    • Removed all hacks from the Hydra Devourer heads.
      • Thanks to Lord Of Nothing for reporting.

3.307 Art Overload And The Devourer Chrysalis

(Released July 3rd, 2021)

  • More Tooltip Work:
    • The first line of tooltips with the metal and energy readouts no longer compares it to the current metal and energy if insufficient. This shortenes the line significantly and gets rid of useless clutter, since the build stats already show resources in red if insufficient.
    • Fixed units that can be claimed always showing 0 metal cost to claim.

Art Updates

  • The Dregil unit for the DZ has had its shader updated, and a reflection cubemap as well as second diffuse layer is now applied. It's a lot fancier now, in one respect, while still being the same model and same general idea as before.
    • Same with the Metal Harvester for the DZ.
  • The AI Command Station (the ones used at regular planets or at reconquest planets) have been completely redone visually.
    • The now look a bit like they have some inspiration from the ISS, and Apollo, and in general seeem more like communications relay objects (they are), rather than housing or a true space station like the humans would build.
    • The human command stations will get their own rework soon, but they won't have any relationship visually to the AI kind. The two groups are building them for entirely different purpsoes beyond the global "controls this system" purpose.
    • The old version of the command stations were some of Chris's earlier art for the game, and attempting to hit a sense of large scale without having insane texture map requirements led to a really subpar result. On discord, there's a pretty cool discussion in the watch_chris_art section:
  • Two turrets in ZO would not have loaded properly for people who did not have TSR:
    • Ragnar's Makeshift Turret and Ragnar's Blitzkrieg Turret. It seems like these would have resulted in errors on start, but apparently not.
  • Two further turrets in ZO just looked like MLRS turrets. However, they now have the proper art ported over from DLC1:
    • Potent Acid Turret and Pacifying Jammer Turret.
  • The version of the hive golem that has been the default since 2017 is now only used for The Monarch ouguard unit in DLC2.
    • There is a new version of the hive golem in the newer more-detailed golem style for the base game. Similar to how the Zenith Trader was updated a bit before ZO came out.
    • The Queen Bee and Golden Wasp Golem variants that are available in ZO now also have their own versions.
    • Those were something you could see as they were completed on discord here: https://discord.com/channels/240637654717300736/825178033500848149/859899718590267423
  • In ZO, the Corruption Minefield, Reactive Dummy, and Implosion Minefield now all have new unique graphics rather than reusing older graphics.
    • Same with the Cyborg Ambassador, Trojan Horse, Ship Compactor, and Cargo Container outguard units.
    • Same with the Phantasmal Host Frigate and its decoy.
    • Ditto the Polarizer strikecraft and Polarizer Guardian, and Electric Bomber strikecraft.
    • Ditto the Chain Lightning Eye (and alerted variant).
    • And the Trebuchet, Void Catalyst, and Mosquito Drone.
    • Lastly, (for now) the Swarm Cruiser, Blackguard Cruiser, and the Radiant Cruiser.
  • ZO now contains a Assets/_DLC2/Outguard/CyborgAmbassador/CyborgAmbassador_AltUnused_EnjoyModders.prefab file that we don't use, in the visuals_bundle="exp2_zenith_onslaught"
    • Feel free to use it in mods.

Mod Updates

  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • Fixed the Defense Schematics hack reading it can also be hacked by transport and officer fleets when it actually can only get hacked by battlestations and citadels.
      • Thanks to Darkshade for reporting.
  • AMU:
    • Hacks using the ExtendedHackingImplementation base class must now define HackableByPseudoCenterpieces which makes it (im)possible to be hacked by spire city centerpieces.
    • The ShipOrTurretGrantingHackingImplementation now only allows hacks by pseudo-centerpieces if the hack grants something other than fleet lines, i.e. a centerpiece itself. This trickles down and fixes Kaizer's Marauders ship line hacks seeing spire city fleet centerpieces as eligible hackers.

New Mod! Devourer Chrysalis by NR SirLimbo

  • Added the distributed mod "Devourer Chrysalis".
    • NOTE: The mod requires both AMU and DLC 2 installed.
    • This mod adds a new minor faction, an overhauled and improved Devourer Golem faction that is vastly superior to the Vanilla one.
    • It evolves, behaves like an animal that can be manipulated and chased, but behaves vengeful and dangerous if provoked.
    • This Devourer exists in two stages:
      • Normally it roams around the galaxy, seeking out suitable fleetballs to feast upon. In this state its behavior can be altered by hacks, allowing the player to pacify, antagonize or entice it.
      • When defeated, not only does it grant a good amount of science it also goes into chrysalis. During this phase it can be analyzed for ship designs, weakened, hacked for metal income and more. After emerging from chrysalis it becomes a new, higher-tier and much more dangeorus Devourer.
      • Beware that most hacks increase the Devourer's progress towards the next mark level, and reversing progress is only possible while its in chrysalis.
    • In essence: Hunt this beast at your own peril and beware for the consequences. Do not let your thirst for power drive up its mark and tier to a point where it becomes too much to handle. At Tier 4 there may not be any other way left to destroy it except for throwing hurling planets...

3.306 Tweaks

(Released June 29th, 2021)

  • Added AI versions of the Rail Frigate and Rail Destroyer for the Spire Hammer AI. (DLC2)
    • These are significantly weaker than player versions given how the AI gets so many more of them. Thanks again to Lord of Nothing for allowing me to "lift" the basic setups of the two units before adjusting them to fit AI usage.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for adding.
  • Multipliers for incoming electrotoxic, revenge shot and attrition damage are now ensured to never be below 0.
  • Tooltips now show when an unit has multipliers for incoming electrotoxic, revenge shot and attrition damage, and when an unit cannot be put into another state of matter by enemy weapon fire.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for updating.
  • AMU mod update:
    • Fixed an exception when loading a save with no living AI left (= the player has already won).
      • Thanks to Isiel for reporting.

3.305 Fruits Of A Snipe Hunt

(Released June 26th, 2021)

Tooltip Improvements

  • More Tooltip Work:
    • Fixed the range buff color being extremely dark - it is now a brighter, more orange-ish red.
    • Fixed CPA and Relentless Wave factions not displaying the AI type in front of them.
    • On the highest detail level now no longer show icons for most things - instead they show text such as "Hull", "Shield", "Strength" etc.
    • On medium or lower detail levels they now display icons for most resources instead of the text, making them much more readable.
    • To do this, updated a large number of ArcenCharacterBufferBase extensions.
    • Shield percentages on medium and highest tooltip detail levels now shift from cyan to red instead of from green to red. It was strange to look at a green hull min/max value, and green to red percentage of hull health, and directly behind cyan shield min/max value, yet still green to red percentage.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for this work!
  • New single-color icons have been introduced for the various ship stats. We may refine these over time, and/or work on their scaling. But they are a major step up over the messy full-color ones (which looked amazing at full scale and terrible when tiny and in proper context).

Balance Changes

  • removed melee pursuit from Light Minelayers. This variant does need to have default kiting behavior unlike the other 2, which performed poorly until given melee
    • Thanks to Darkshade for pointing out this issue, and Zesuf for making the updates!
  • Flenser armor 180mm -> 500mm
  • Flenser, Mothership, and Planetcracker now have Norris and Harmonic feature, so these will not be deterred by bubbleshields at all
  • Mother ship and Planetcracker now also stop ceasefires. These are tier 4 after all
  • T3 Jackalope gains Harmonic feature, it can move through shields
  • T3 Mothership gains Norris effect, it can push shields
  • T3 Hunter/Annihilator now cancels out ceasefires
    • Thank you to Crawlers and GreatYng for pointing out this silliness about the elite exagalatic ships, and Zesuf for making the updates.

Bugfixes

  • Put in a further fix to savegames with unsupported characters in them still giving a disk exception.
    • Thanks to UFO for reporting it was still happening.
  • Fix a bug where the beacon scourge might be allied to the AI
    • Thanks to Jack Trades for reporting.
  • (Coil)beam Math:
    • The state of matter is now required for GetEnemyEntitiesIntersectingInstaFireConicalShot(). This should give later functions less targets to work with, and improve performance slightly.
    • Created the DoMultiHittingBeamAttack() function for unifying all types of beam weapon hits in the same code. If something breaks here it breaks everything, and in reverse if it works here it'll work everywhere.
    • Upgraded the logic for more efficiency and fixed the coilbeam math. At the end I didn't find out where the bug was, but with all these corrections it simply... started working correctly in tests.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for this!

The Loading Snipe Hunt

  • After 12+ hours of work trying to make the game loading more asynchronous (and mostly succeeding, minus some very odd niggles like UI windows refusing to go anywhere near the right part of the screen)), that work has been thrown aside and I'm going to approach the whole "certain things don't load right for some people" from the prior build via another avenue. Secondary benefits scavenged from the giant mass of scrapped work include:
    • The uniterm console, which is an ancient thing from alpha we were using, has been removed from the codebase. We have our own console now, and have for years.
      • This actually speeds loading up external dlls quite a bit.
    • Also made improvements to our internal ObjectDumper, so that it is more robust when it has a failure due to us needing to update some internal code, etc.
      • We use this tool to programmatically verify that data has not changed when we change the parser that loads in data.
    • Our "delayed log messages" from background threads are now ordered in the precise order they were logged.
      • This is possible thanks to using System.Threading.Interlocked to add ordered IDs to them, since the data structures we must use across threads like this are unordered.
    • In general, our debug logging has seen a number of upgrades and improvements, including making all of the general log-writers go to the delayed channel (so they definitely show up) when being written-to from background threads.
    • Since multithreading is being done more and more casually in here even by modders -- which is great! -- we needed extra robustness in here. Also, for general purposes, there are too many places now that might run on one thread or many at once, so there's also that.
  • Simply reverted a change from June 23rd which was intended to fix a (very very) rare exception with how xml reloading could throw an error.
    • The fix that I had implemented caused some processors not to be able to load the game at all, and the 12-hour snipe hunt resulted.
    • The 12 hour snipe hunt was in many respects a waste, since it almost all had to be reverted, but it did provide some really interesting data on what matters and what does not matter in terms of load speed improvements. So some further minor improvements will certainly result from that.
  • Further fixed up some bits of code to keep certain invalid filenames or campaign names from causing errors.
  • A bit more of performance improvements in UI windows (even those not showing), plus ability to output debug information in a new way, as been added back in from the 12-hour snipe hunt.
  • One result of the 12-hours snipe hunt was that we realized that certain things could be done in parallel for a faster loading experience with fewer statuses flying by. As it happens, we can do those linearly in most cases with the same resulting speed increase. If your processor and disk are both very fast, you may see a 2 second improvement out of 10 or 12 total. If your framerate is low or you are set to have Vsync at 30 or similar, then you should see larger gains than that. If you're having a very slow load that is taking 100+ seconds because of loading things off of asset bundles on disk, then likely thing won't improve much from this (though you never know -- and that is mostly a case where the next time you run it, it will be faster due to caching).
  • Redid the various attribute tags in classes throughout the codebase to avoid objectdumper going into endless loops when we use it. We just hadn't been needing it for a while, so things got a bit wooly with it.
    • This is one of those things we don't even need right now, but if we ever need to do data integrity verification in the future, we want to have this working and verified BEFORE we get 6-8 hours into the process of trying to update the schema.
    • This again was done during the snipe-hunt, but is better re-done now.

Mod Updates

  • AMU:
    • Adjusted AMU to the most recent Vanilla changes.
  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • Adjusted KM to the most recent Vanilla changes.
    • Further divorced Kaizers Marauders from Vanilla Marauders: Kaizers no longer overwrites a number of Vanilla Marauder entities. This may result in Kaizers Marauders not (fully) working, but should be savegame compatible.
      • If you have trouble with Kaizers Marauders, please finish your current games with the "v3.303 - Last version before the Kaizer's Marauders split" beta build in Steam.

3.304 Coilbeams No Longer Tickle

(Released June 23rd, 2021)

QoL

  • New hotkey: Assign Fleet Group (Defaults to control key)
    • Hold this modifier key down and then press one of the fleet selection keys above. Any fleets that have you have selected will be immediately assigned to that fleet number (the entire fleet; you cannot assign part of a fleet to a number).
    • Any existing fleets that are not selected and which have the same fleet number will be assigned to no fleet number.
    • Thanks to lots of folks for requesting this for a long time.
  • New helper command (like a cheat code but not a cheat): rename campaign,[New Name]
    • Rename the current campaign Whatever you enter after the comma -- including spaces and capitalization -- will be the new name of the campaign.
    • It helpfully removes any starting spaces you might have added in there, and any invalid characters become underscores.
    • Example usage:
      • cmd:renamecampaign, My New Campaign Name
      • This example would make any further saves go in the campaign folder "My New Campaign Name".
    • Thanks to Ecthelon for suggesting.
  • Officer fleets -- Arks and Golems -- now always default to Flagship Roaming of "Roam if Instructed." Same with fallen spire fleets.
    • This only applies to new campaigns, but should lead to less confusion on the parts of players.
    • Strike fleets (aka transports), battlestations, citadels, and support factories all still default to "Stay Put Unless Direct Order."
      • The idea is that their mode is primarily for purposes of the units they create. But if you prefer to change this setting, you can go in and do so.
    • Thanks to Zweihand and many others for suggesting.
  • Updated the first row of tooltips to once again include the AI type and player fleet name.
    • Requested by defekt and BadgerBadgerBadger on Mantis.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for this work!
  • More tooltip work:
    • Fixed the Range buffs using the color of speed instead of range. For this purpose, added a whole lot of functions to range formating extensions to the ArcenCharacterBufferBase.
    • Fixed a metric ton of bugs with the AddNumberMoreReadable() function when it came to values below 1000, let alone below 1 or even negatives.
    • Cloaked units now show that they are cloaked in the buffs row, and if they are decloaked will display the same in the debuffs row.
      • In addition, on high tooltips they display for how long they can sustain the cloak with the current incoming tachyon radiation, and if no tachyon rays are incoming how long it takes until the ship replenishes its cloaking points.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for this work!

Bugfixes

  • Spire Flagships can no longer hack ARSs
    • Thanks to Evil Bistro for reporting and others for discussion
  • Under the hood, we no longer sort the fleet member groups. It's possible that this was causing some various issues in both SP and MP. It may have also had some performance impact.
    • We now instead have a new DoForMemberGroupsSorted_NonSim() method on fleets, which does the same sort but only when it's needed for something in the UI.
    • MemberGroups are also now private, so that we need to use one method or another.
    • Code mods will now be forced to choose between looping over these sorted but not for simulation use, or unsorted for simulation use. Unless you're showing a tooltip or other ui element, always use the unsorted one.
  • Fixed the issue with when you switched fleet leader types, it would often then show at the bottom of the list in the fleet management window.
    • Thanks to several players for reporting.
  • The Swap fleet leader no longer actually swaps fleet leaders. This is problematic for a whole lot of reasons (upgrades from techs, upgrades from hacks, history of the fleet leader, drones, and many other things).
    • Instead it swaps all of the non-fleet-leader, non-drone lines in the two fleets, thus bypassing this problem.
    • There's a bunch of minor interface changes and improvements to get this working fully as well as showing clearly.
    • Thanks to Darkshade, CRCGamer, UFO, and Ranamar for reporting the bugs with the other approach.
  • Fixed a bug when swapping fleet lines around where it would show empty lines that no longer existed (usually from a type change on that fleet).
  • Fixed a variety of "blank data" exceptions that could happen when setting up the game from an old save or a quickstart, among other circumstances.
    • First of all, the way that missing factions are added is more careful now, although that turned out not to be the problem.
    • Secondly, CPALogic and RelentlessWave subfactions are added in a better way for each AI in multi-AI games, to lead to less confusion with them.
    • And lastly, if there was explicitly blank (or otherwise old) data, it was not previously reading in the current-game default. This has been corrected so that it now chooses default values.
      • This was the reason why often certain quickstarts had errors with the Praetorian Guard immediately after starting, and things of that nature.
    • Thanks to Chuito12, Alivaril, Darkshade, and Rune for reporting, and to the former for giving us detailed reproduction steps for the bug.
  • Using unsupported characters in filenames (or names in general that get serialized) will now use underscores rather than question marks as replacements. This keeps from having filesystem errors if the text is for the filesystem (question marks are not valid in filenames).
    • Thanks to UFO for reporting.
  • Fix a bug where dropping below the Wormhole Borer AIP threshold could prevent any active borers from being updated
    • Thanks to Ecthelon for reporting
  • Hopefully fix a typo in the aip log about instigators
    • Thanks to GreatYng for reporting
  • Fix a problem with marauder outpost descriptions
    • Thanks to novellus for reporting
  • Added a new debug settings toggle: "Log Coilbeam Math"
    • When this is on, any coilbeam weapons fire will log its details so that it can be examined and/or debugged.
  • Fixed a bug that could happen when reloading all the xml from disk after changing mods or expansions that are installed.
    • Essentially some of the central collections were not concurrent, but were being handled from multiple threads and so needed to be.
  • Fixed some general broken logic with beam weapons, because we had some variables named in a confusing way. This naming has now been fixed.
    • Most recently, this has been causing coilbeam shots to do something like 93 damage when their base was 75k and they were supposed to be doing 18.7k damage per correct math. This is fixed now.
    • But in general, this was causing certain non-coilbeam beam weapons to also do similarly way-too-low amounts of damage. It's hard to know if we had any ships using that particular other code path or not (it's possible not), but those ships were either doing way too much or way too little damage, and will now work properly. So if some other beam weapon seems way off, then this is likely because we had tuned it wrong because of this longer-standing bug.
    • Thanks to Chuito12, Wuffell, Histidine, Lord Of Nothing, and others for reporting.

Mod Updates

  • AMU:
    • Adjusted the mod to changes in the Vanilla codebase.
  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • "Divorced" Kaizers from the normal Marauders. It is now possible to have both in the same game at the same time.
    • This also fixes a few minor issues like Kaizers Marauders inheriting a few faction fields such as the intelligence (that enables/disables fireteams), which doesn't do anything for Kaizers Marauders since they always use fireteams, and redundant invasion time settings.
    • Kaizers Marauders now also have an unique faction description.
      • At the request of Chris and BadgerBadgerBadger, and in retrospect for the better. Most of it was due to Kaizers Marauders starting as something else than what they turned out to be.
    • This will break existing savegames that have KM in them. To finish those games, you can temporarily use the "v3.303 - Last version before the Kaizer's Marauders split" beta build in Steam. You may have to exit and restart Steam before this appears.

3.303 Tutorial Hotfix

(Released June 22nd, 2021)

  • Fixed some mapgen oddities that had crept into affecting tutorials, specifically making a lot of AI forces spawn on your early planets to kill you nearly instantly. Wow.
    • Thanks to Nygmus and others for reporting.
  • In running through a test of all the tutorials, we discovered it was STILL possible for waves to spawn against the player even when those were turned off.
    • Or maybe it's newly possible again, it's hard to say. Either way, it's a very hard wave even if the players had all of their normal kit, which they do not. It's a death wave, either way.
    • The UI itself is now being used as a last line of defense. This is a strange way to do things, but it's the ultimate final safety net. If you're in a tutorial that says no waves, and you aren't an MP client, then when the UI would tell you about waves it instead deletes them all.
  • There is a new "Go For Perfect Symmetry" option on the X map type, which defaults to true, which gives the old perfectly-symmetrical map logic.
    • If you leave this on and turn off all other options, you have the X map of a few weeks ago.
    • THAT said, this generates too many nodes per number of planets requested, and that part has been fixed by just offsetting internally.
      • Previously if you asked for 160 planets, you would get 180. Now you actually get 160. And so on down the line.
      • This does mean that the old 80-planet experience is the new 100 planet experience.
      • This does also mean that partial planet requests (like 52) give the same as 50.
    • Anyhow, this is the best of both worlds. You get the old style X map as an option (as the default, in fact), but with more options on how to configure things and the option of other cross-connections.
    • Thanks to Khan for requesting the classic X make a return.

3.302 Clarified Invincibility

(Released June 21st, 2021)

QoL

  • When you try to attack a target but cannot, there are now actually some local messages that show now (finally).
    • Apologies this took so long, it was really a confusing thing for some folks, and a big oversight on my part.
    • In the event that you have some ships that could attack a unit in the current circumstances, but not the specific one you clicked, it says:
      • None of your selected ships can currently damage [this unit]. Check its tooltip for invulnerabilities.
    • In the event that your selected ships can't do anything in the first place, it says:
      • None of your selected ships are ready or able to attack this. They are all in loading mode, or unable to leave another planet, or lack weapons, etc.
    • In the event that you have no units selected, or only planetary units on another planet, it simply says:
      • Please select some ships before trying to attack.
  • For the various "tall" popup windows that show text, there are now also "tall wide" and "tall ultrawide" options.
    • We use various of them, as appropriate, throughout the game now. Any place that is showing details of ship lines should be using the wide version so there is room (but not ultrawide as that turned out to be way too much room.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for inspiring this addition.
  • Hitting the escape key now clears a bunch of other windows that were "ok popups" that you could only click the button on previously.
  • The window header for tips now shows the sidebar text, which looks far nicer and is also more informative.

Bugfixes

  • Fix a bug with some Ship Groups for unreleased features not being filled, and giving a harmless error message at game start time
    • Thanks to a number of players for reporting
  • Fix a bug where the ZO achievements exceptions were causing exceptions on games without the ZO enabled
    • Thanks to Exilium for reporting
  • As a player, if you right-click on "empty space" that has a cloaked enemy there, it now treats it as if there is truly nothing there.
    • No testing for enemy mines or whatever by clicking around, heh.
  • Fixed a bug we were never aware of until now where if you double-right-clicked... anything really... it would give a huge spam of duplicate commands.
    • This didn't break anything in the game, but it was a definite performance drain, particularly in multiplayer. If someone has the habit of double-right-clicking for whatever reason, metric tons of extra data calculations would happen. That is no longer the case.
  • Fixed an error in the factions window screen during the game where in recent versions it was often showing a nonsense bit of text rather than the chosen option.
    • Additionally, fixed it having an exception when you viewed the advanced settings for an AI faction in this screen.
    • Thanks to Smidlee and Darkshade for reporting.
  • Another round of bugfixes against Hunter or AI ships targeting Nomad planets or neutral factions or the like

Mod Updates

  • AMU:
    • Fixed a lot of wrong math around metal and science in/out of bounds with hacks that grant or cost metal or science per second.
    • Fixed the hack ending in an exception if a hack ran out of metal or science and was forced to end.
    • Improved the GameCommand_AllAttackTarget to include the option to set a behavior to all units.
  • AMU:
    • Created a new AllMobileDevourerIncludingEnragedRollup for the upcoming Devourer Chrysalis mod.

3.301 I Always Wanted To Be A Ghostbuster...

(Released June 19th, 2021)

  • Fixed ships with any resource gains in Distributed Economy mode and gains of other resources in non-Distributed Economy mode being unable to gain these other resources at all.
    • This fixes being unable to extract science and hacking points from planets in Distributed Economy mode.
    • Thanks to Vivisector 9999, Exohydra, Darkshade, Democract, and whimsee for reporting on Mantis, and a number of others on Discord. And to NR SirLimbo for fixing it!
  • Fixed the build stats on minimum detail levels overlapping each other.
    • Thanks to defekt for reporting, and NR SirLimbo for fixing.

Multiplayer Bugfixing

  • Added a new "Short-Term Planning Debug Log" to the debug section of personal settings, which allows us to write sub-info from that to a new ShortTermPlanningLog.txt file.
    • Also added "Planet View Mouse Handling Debug Log", which writes to PlanetViewMouseHandlingLog.txt.
    • Chasing down a bug related to multiplayer client performance dropping off in battles in a certain savegame (and probably other contexts also, but at least we can duplicate it in this one).
  • Added new MP stats on the client and host.
    • Host: "Srv Ships Needing Sync Fix" (usually is zero, but if it spikes into the thousands we have a problem).
    • Client: "Cl Ships To Del" (grows into the hundreds, which is problematic right now), "Cl Ships To Ask" (usually zero, spikes a bit at times, no problem), and "Cl Ghosts Waiting" (this spirals into the thousands pretty fast and seems to be the roof of the performance hitching that then comes in.
  • Okay, a lot of rewriting of the ghost handling logic once again.
    • In particular, ghosts are much better at noticing when they have been told "hey you're okay, you're alive!" and also "hey, you died, get out of here, sorry."
    • There's also a backup timer added back in, where if something is still in limbo as a ghost after 10 realtime seconds, the client just tells them to die. This is what caused the self-deleting fleets on clients, and all that other chaos, in the past. But now it's... well, it's the same concept, but way different code. It seems to be killing far less, and actually killing what it should and not what it shouldn't. But more testing is needed.
    • Overall these changes are hot off the presses, so we'll see what happens, but initial indications are that this solves the following issues:
      • First, an excess buildup (still smaller, but present) of extra ghosts on the client.
      • Secondly, a large buildup of hitching and performance problems on both client and host. To a really severe degree lately by some accounts, and months ago by others.
      • Thirdly, smoothness of the simulation in general and number of corrections needed (not having ghosts around, yeah that checks out).
    • Thanks to Peons, Mission, and Zweihand for reporting.

3.300 Mapsplosion

(Released June 18th, 2021)

QoL

  • In the lobby, "Number of Planets" is now called "Desired Planets," and it shows how many actual planets there are after that.
    • Various map types give slightly more or fewer than the amount you request, so having this be something you can see is relevant. It's not a bug if you ask for 80 and get 83 or 75; it's likely just the nature of that map type. So this helps make clear what you're actually getting into.
  • Map options that are specific to the map type now show up with their text in blue, with the word "Customize:" next to them, making it way easier to keep track of what is that versus what is global to all map types.
    • Also in general the map sidebar is more vertically condensed so that we can now easily show six custom fields without having to scroll the map sidebar to see alll the controls.
    • There is a maximum of 10 custom fields for a map type in general, but honestly over 6 is a bad idea just from the standpoint of confusion.
  • Additionally, on the map tab, it now shows the default option in yellow with (Default) behind it when it is the default. This makes it way easier to know what the default is without having to hunt around.
  • When you change your map type in the lobby, it now resets any custom options to the defaults rather than keeping the arbitrary offsets related to the prior settings.

New Map Type Options

  • The Bubbles map type, originally by Draco18s, now also supports a new "number of planets per bubble" field, which generates wildly new kinds of maps depending on what you select.
  • The Clusters Microcosm map type now allows you to edit the spacing and radius of the clusters, which gives you various different effects.
  • The Concentric map now has a new "Extra Rings" option, which lets you make it more dense than usual if you wish.
  • The Spiral Snake map type has been deprecated (though old saves with it will work fine). This was always just a variant of Concentric.
    • There is now a new "Spiral Snake?" option under Concentric, which lets you turn it straight back into Spiral Snake, but with whatever other Concentric options you wish to use also applied.
  • There is a new "Random Extra Connections" that defaults to ten on Concentric. You can choose as few as 0 or as many as 30.
    • This helps really change up the dynamics of these maps, making them more connected in various interesting ways.
  • Both Clusters and Clusters Microcosm now also support the "Random Extra Connections" custom field, with the default number of additions on these now being 5. These can range from 0 to 30, though, at the player's choice as well.
  • The "Random Extra Connections" is now also supported by the Bubbles map, which kind of makes it a bit crazy. So it defaults to having no extra connections at all, but it supports up to 30.
  • Now that we can actually set defaults other than the first item in the list for map custom options, we're definitely going to choose the best default experience for each type!
    • The default type for the clusters map type is now Fractured rather than Large.
    • The default type for the Simple map type is now Dreamcatcher rather than Simple.
    • The default center for Compass (ZO) is now Large rather than Small, and the default connections per ring is 2 rather than 1.
    • The default for Maze is now Maze D (Angles, Extra Links) rather than Maze A (Straight).
  • The Grid and Maze map types now support extra connections as well. Grid defaults to having 30 extra connections, while Maze defaults to having none.
  • The honeycomb map now has a new Solar Snake option that was coded by Keith long ago.
    • This is another ultra-hard super-unbalanced option, and it is labeled as such. But it is interesting, so why not.
  • The honeycomb map now has a new "Dissonance" option, which lets it start coming apart more or less, in some quite intereseting ways.
    • The default for this is now the new "A Bit Extra" rather than the old (only style) of "Normal." This produces more varied and interesting maps without going too crazy.
  • "Random Extra Connections" is now also supported on the honeycomb map, and this combined with solar snake actually is a playable map.
  • The Linked Rings map, originally by Draco18s, type was frequently generating fewer planets than requested, by a fairly large degree (often 10% too low). This is adjusted to now fill in with extra satellite planets.
    • Actually, this is now controlled by a new "Extra Satellites To Hit Target?" option, which defaults to on. So you can turn that off if you prefer.
  • The Octopus map, originally by tadrinth with some help from Badger, has been updated to support more numbers of arms in between two and eight. The default is also now four arms.
  • The X map now does a better job of not having too many planets (when you ask for 80, getting 100).
    • The X map also now supports "Random Extra Connections", and defaults to now having 2.
    • Some adjustments to X have been made that make it now more symmetric while trying to not pass the target planet count. This means it generally gives you 73 planets when you ask for 80.
      • There is thus a new "Extra Satellites To Hit Target?" option that defaults to on which also adds extra clumps of planets to get you back up to your target.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed a bug in the last couple of versions where the "most recent lobby settings" were not saving in a way that they could be reloaded.
  • Fixed a bug that could happen in rare seeds on the Encapsulated map type with it not always being a fully-connected map. It now runs the process that fixes that, as do a ton of other map types now just in case.
    • Thanks to Vrishnak92™ for reporting.

Mod Updates

  • AMU:
    • The SetEntityPath() method now accepts an optional PathingMode.
    • Created 2 new game commands:
      • GameCommand_AllAttackTarget will make all units attack the target. If the units need to move to the target's planet first, they will do so, but there is no guarantee that the target will still be there once they arrive, or mechanism to redirect the units again.
      • GameCommand_AllClearBehavior will make all units clear their current orders. It can be specified whether that includes decollisions or not.
        • This is both used for the upcoming Devourer Chrysalis mod.
    • Also simplified the GameCommand_MoveAllToPlanet code slightly.
    • The Spire Great Shield Emitter and Zenith Architrave Spawner (NOT home warp point!) are now in the NastyCriminallyUnvervaluedStructuresToAvoidRollup instead of the NastyStructuresToAbsolutelyAvoidRollup. This means that Kaizers Marauders will no longer absolutely avoid planets with these on, and should fix Marauders not openly engaging with the Zenith Architrave on their worlds.

3.203 More Bugfixing

(Released June 18th, 2021)

Bugfixes

  • The way that map generation secondary options are defined in code and xml is now VASTLY simpler and cleaner.
    • This solves a number of things that made it difficult for modders to make maps, or for us to alter maps cleanly. It also makes it easier to find and correct errors.
  • Fixed a longstanding issue where if you changed a secondary option on a map within 5 seconds of just having regenerated the map, it would not update with the new map result.
    • This was notably confusing if you were cycling through different linking flavors or similar, since sometimes it would not respond to actually show you how it was different.
  • Fixed the balance_distance_after_which_ships_will_not_chase_targets being only 280k (with default 80% range resulting in 224k, enough to cover the gravity well but only if a ship is in the middle). Increased it to 610k (with default 80% range resulting in 488k, plenty range to cover even the biggest gravity wells from the edge of the system).
    • This should fix a lot of ships behaving like snipers, never moving into the shortest weapon's attack range when should.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for fixing.
  • Further fix to the "Client_SendAnyFullSyncRequestsToTheHost" error in MP.
    • Thanks to Peons and HossPorkchops for reporting.

Mod Updates

  • Starting Fleet designs (both versions) updated to have the new style of UI prefixing.
  • AMU:
    • Added a new function: Starter Fleet AIP Balance in the advanced Galaxy Settings in the AIP Balance section.
    • Some modded starter fleets may have centerpieces or fleet lines that cost AIP when claimed and/or hacked. This function provides AIP at the start of the game equivalent to the AIP cost of the starter fleets players have.

3.202 General Bugfixing

(Released June 17th, 2021)

  • For the galaxy options window (but not faction options at the moment), we've added:
    • default_value_if_below_campaign_harshness_but_not_sandbox="somenumber" for bool and int fields.
    • default_option_if_below_campaign_harshness_but_not_sandbox for string and table fields.
    • This is useful if we want to have the defaults of something be... something different on Humanity Ascendant and down, but still let them make choices. As one example.
    • This MUST be combined with still_allow_editing_below_min_campaign_harshness="true", which is also new and a part of this same thing.
  • For Humanity Ascendant and downward, Compact is now the universal standard for all planet sizes except for the Dark Zenith (which are set to be Cramped).
    • However, players can still change this around. When you move to Challenger or higher, the defaults change to something more varied. So far there is no standard being enforced on Expert or Deathwish.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for suggesting.
  • You can now see your economic mode (centralized or distributed) in the escape menu directly.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed a number of tooltips that were missing information in the lobby because we internally now have a centralized GetDescription() method and no longer use the (older, less efficient, and worse in a bunch of ways) GetTooltipString() method.
    • This has now been corrected for all of the core game tables that were affected, like AI types, AI difficulties, and things of that nature.
    • It's worth noting that any mods that used to add to their tooltip by GetTooltipString() should now do so via GetDescription(). However, don't include a header line or you'll get that doubled.
    • Thanks to Darkshade for reporting this absence.
  • Fixed a bug with distributed economy mode that was causing it to go back (mostly -- except for which asteroid types had been seeded) to centralized economy after loading a savegame.
    • Additionally, this mode was not working properly on the visuals of MP clients until now.
    • Thanks to DEMOCRACY_DEMOCRACY for reporting.
  • Coil beam math is tricky! Reworked and simplified some of the beam weapon calculations in a couple of ways:
    • First, if these things would hit everything in a line, but hit nothing, then assume we still hit the target (it likely is just at the outer range, but we wouldn't have shot if a different form of calculation had not already declared it in range). I'm not aware of this actually impacting anyone, but it was a distinct possibility.
    • Secondly, if these beam weapons that normally hit multiple targets only hit one (and that one is the intended target), then just have it use a bit simpler math to save time.
    • Thirdly, if these beam weapons hit 1+ targets beyond the primary target, then make SURE that the primary target is the first one hit, so that it gets its share of damage if it should.
      • The older logic for this part was a lot more complicated and not as effective (and could have led to you doing 10% more damage than intended to a line hitting 20 targets of which 10 could share damage, for instance. Although that over-damage effect would only have kicked in if the older math actually worked, which it did not. In practice, this means it will definitely actually hit the target, instead.
      • Fourth, fixed an issue with secondary targets taking less (or more) damage than their primary. Not sure if any beams were using that, but if so then there was a multiplier that was causing this damage to be amplified 100x too much. So for example if you had configured a beam weapon to deal normal damage to the primary target, and 14% of the normal value to each target it hits along the way, it would actually have done 1400% damage instead of 14%. Ouch.
    • Thanks to many players reporting spire coil beams not being able to hit certain stationary targets, including Sergie, Lord Of Nothing, Ithuriel0, and Zweihand.
  • If you are on the galaxy map and giving ships orders between planets (say, a group of ships from planet A to planet B, and they are all on planet A right now), then previously if you were to give a conflicting order to the planet they are already on (hey you ships on planet A, go to planet A), then they would just ignore those orders and keep going to planet B.
    • Now, in the even that these ships are planning to leave the planet, all of their orders get cleared. So the example ships above would stop doing anything and stay on planet A.
    • There's a third category of ships -- those on planet A, but that were never planning on leaving planet A in the first place, and which you told to do something else, like shoot some guy. These ships will carry on shooting the guy, because they are both already on the planet you said, and have no travel orders to go elsewhere, so they may as well disregard what you said since it has no meaning.
      • The fourth sub-category of ships who have some other orders and THEN a move order (hey you ships on planet A: shoot that guy, then go to planet B) WILL have all their orders cleared, including the non-travel-related ones, when you order them to the planet they are already one. This seems excessively niche.
    • In testing, this now works as one would respect, is the TLDR.
    • Thanks to Ecthelon for suggesting.

Multiplayer Fixes

  • Fixed what seems to be an old MP error finding new expression in some cases now when ghosts are being killed. Essentially it wasn't being triggered before because we weren't finding the ghosts properly, but now it's being triggered because we are. But only if you have ghosts in the first place, which I still can't directly replicate, but at any rate this does seem to suggest that the fix for finding ghosts is at least working better.
    • At any rate, this was basically a UltraEfficientStyle for a list of unit IDs using a prior value from what the server had just told the client about, rather than the client recalculating its own format that is sure to fit all the entities it wants to ask the server about. This would thrown an exception that included "ClientSidePKIDMismatch" in the name,
      • Actually, long ago, this was probably correct logic. We could only ask the server about things it just told us about, so reusing that UltraEfficientStyle rather than recalculating it was... fine. Not a bug, but probably not optimal, although you could actually make a case for it being somewhat optimal. Anyhow, now that the client can ask questions wholly unrelated to what the server just told them about -- aka about ghosts -- the client needs to calculate this for themselves.
    • I just ran a multiplayer session fine, but this doesn't mean much since it is only affecting a subset of players in the first place, or only on certain conditions, or after time, etc. The fix should be good, but it's hard to be positive just yet.
    • Thanks to Peons and HossPorkchops for reporting.

3.201 Location Hotfix

(Released June 17th, 2021)

  • Fixed two deserialization bugs introduced last build with the new variable-size gravity wells. These only affected existing savegames (versus new games or saves from new games), and so long as you didn't save over an existing save from an older build, they'll now load properly again.
    • First bug was everything loading in completely randomized in each grav well from older saves. Well, this is inspiring a new AI type sometime in the future, at least.
    • Second bug was engineers and a few other units wanting to run off to the bottom left of the map.
    • Thanks to Ecthelon, emabrad, Bob, Mr W, ElOhTeeBee, easytarget, and Strategic Sage for reporting.
  • The Dark Zenith tooltip now properly says that it default to Cramped rather than saying Grand, which is outdated info.
    • Thanks to Ecthelon for reporting.
  • This is not tested yet, but hitting Reset to Defaults should no longer disconnect clients in the multiplayer lobby.
  • When you use Reset to Defaults in the lobby, it now adjusts you to be on the Map tab if you were not there, or on the Factions tab if you were on the Map tab.
    • This way any stale data that might be cached will be reset no matter what.
    • As a side benefit, this also makes it more obvious that something happened if you are hitting this serially.
    • Thanks to Ecthelon for reporting some stale data.

Mod Updates

  • cml: Updated AIShieldGenerators mod to account for new GetSafePlacementPoint methods.
  • SirLimbo: AMU:
    • Fixed some leftover debugging code producing messages about AI hunter fireteams with destroyed but not null targets being in that state for over 120 seconds.

3.200 Variable Planet Gravity Well Scales And QoL

(Released June 16th, 2021)

Variable Gravity Well Sizes

  • Combat coordinates can now be stored between -262,136 and +262,136, which gives us a larger range in which to work. This costs an extra 3 bits per coordinate part, or 6 bits per coordinate pair. The base number being stored was previously a pair of 15bit integers, but now they are being stored as 18bit integers.
    • Overall this won't make savegames that much larger, but it does allow for us to have genuinely larger gravity wells without having to try to fake it and then math down all the movement speeds or whatever (THAT would have been very very slow by comparison in terms of CPU usage during gameplay).
  • The internal CombatCenter value has been changed from 200k to 400k.
    • This again does not impact accuracy, and also does not impact savegame size since this is subtracted out before units are saved, anyhow.
    • However, what this does is allow for gravity wells with the full 262,136 radius, quite comfortably, if we want to have something that stupidly large. Before the limit was going to be 99,999 even with the new data format. Which is probably plenty big, but why artificially limit things?
  • There are now "Planet Grav-Well Schemas" as a concept, which define the randomized (or not) assignment of gravity well sizes to planets. The ones defined so far are:
    • Chaotic Random:
      • Gravity wells will be completely randomized from the full range of 10k sU to 200k sU. This is extremely chaotic, so not something you'd usually want to do.
    • Random With Extremes
      • Gravity wells will be completely randomized from the full range of 10k sU to 200k sU, but those extremes will be quite rare.
    • Colossal
      • All gravity wells are 200k sU in radius. This is large to the point that sniper shots might dissipate before even reaching their destination. Travel times are extreme, and battles are likely to be protracted.
    • Vast
      • All gravity wells are 127k sU in radius. This is so large that you may need to play on accelerated timing. No battle can remotely cover the entire battlefield, and snipers are all but gods. Travel times are very, very long.
    • Reasonable Random
      • Gravity wells will be range from 18k sU to 74k sU, with most being somewhere more in the middle.
    • Grand
      • All gravity wells are 74k sU in radius. This is very, very large. Battles have a ton of room for maneuvering, and snipers are going to be overly power. Travel times are extended, and forget about getting full turret coverage of wormholes.
    • Extensive
      • All gravity wells are 52k sU in radius. This is quite large. Battles have a lot of room for maneuvering, and snipers are going to be overly powerful. Travel times are high, and turret coverage of wormholes will be problematic at times.
    • Spacious
      • All gravity wells are 38k sU in radius. This is large enough that travel times are increased a bit, and it's harder to cover a high number of wormholes. Battles have more room for maneuvering, but travel times are not too bad yet.
    • Modest
      • All gravity wells are 32k sU in radius. This is still small enough that a group of turrets can often cover several wormholes. Travel time within the system is a bit larger, but still quite quick.
    • Compact (Legacy)
      • The classic gravity well size that was used in AI War 2 for all planets until June 2021. It can get a bit claustrophobic.
      • All gravity wells are 26k sU in radius. This is small enough that a group of turrets can often cover 2-3 wormholes. Travel time within the system is minimal, for better or worse.
    • Cramped
      • All gravity wells are 18k sU in radius. This is small enough that a group of turrets can probably cover the entire gravity well. Travel time within the system is very low, and it is hard to isolate plabets.
    • Miniscule
      • All gravity wells are 10k sU in radius. This is so tiny that any enemies on the planet are pretty much in range of one another as soon as they arrive.
  • The very helpful method GetSafePlacementPoint() was being used in several different ways, and especially with planet-specific gravity well sizes, we now had to define this differently:
    • GetSafePlacementPointAroundPlanetCenter() is the most common, and uses the size of the gravity well to put something somewhere in the gravity well.
    • GetSafePlacementPoint_SpecificPoint() is rare, and is used to put something pretty close to a specific target point, with explicit distance ranges that it can be around that.
      • These ranges are usually calculated from the radius of ships, or things of that nature. It shouldn't have anything to do with current or former grav well sizes.
    • GetSafePlacementPoint_AroundDesiredPointVicinity() is also rare, and is used to put sometihng pretty close to a specific target point, but with some wiggle room that is defined as FInt percentage of the OLD fixed grav well size.
    • GetSafePlacementPoint_AroundEntity() is very common, and is used to put sometihng pretty close to a specific target entity (unit or wormhole), but with some wiggle room that is defined as FInt percentage of the OLD fixed grav well size.
    • Using the above, fixed the following issues (as well as generally prevented ourselves from introducing any new ones):
      • Fixed a bug where Dark Zenith defensive structures were often seeding much further away than was desirable from the things they were to defend.
  • There is a new "Planet Grav-Well Sizes" section in the MapGen section of galaxy options.
    • Human Homeworld Planet Grav Well Size
      • Choose how large (and/or variable) home homeworlds are. Too large can make the game overly easy, and too small can make the game overly hard. Defaults to Modest.
    • General Planet Grav Well Size
      • Choose how large (and/or variable) the bulk of planets out in the galaxy are. Defaults to Reasonable Random.
    • AI Bastion Planet Grav Well Size
      • Choose how large (and/or variable) AI Bastion worlds are. Too large can make the game overly easy, and very small can make the game close to impossible. Defaults to Modest.
    • AI Homeworld Planet Grav Well Size
      • Choose how large (and/or variable) AI Homeworlds are. Too large can make the game overly easy, and very small can make the game close to impossible. Defaults to Modest.
    • Dark Zenith Planet Grav Well Size (if you have DLC2 installed)
      • Choose how large (and/or variable) Dark Zenith world are, if the Dark Zenith are to be used in this game. These are meant to be pretty large and imposing. Defaults to Grand.
  • In-game, the gravity well sizes are now shown as the diameter, not the radius, as this is easier to keep track of.
  • In-game, it now shows you the gravity well size of each planet on the planet tooltip.
  • LODs in the game are now calculated properly based on the scale of the planet gravity well. Mostly this doesn't matter much (better performance in a distant sense on super huge planets), but it prevents some units from being oddly under-detailed on very SMALL planets (since the apparent size of ships is larger than the LODs would normally account for).
    • The LOD details that can be shown in tooltips now show this information as well as what nonstandard values are being used if there are any in use.
    • The test chamber is also now forced to always use the old standard gravity well size, as that's where we typically will set up art LODs and we need it to be on a consistent basis for everything else to multiply or divide from.
  • The planets in the background now scale up or down in size based on the apparent scale of the gravity well, like everything else. This helps to ground the size of the scene a lot. The asteroids are the same in any event, and the nebulas are infinitely far away so of course have no change in perspective. But this essentially completes the grav well transformation.
  • The Dark Zenith planets now default to Cramped rather than Grand, because this actually is a lot harder (for players going in there), and more imposing and scary in general.

QoL

  • Added a new debug option in settings under tooltip additions: Show Entity Location Coordinates
    • Mainly for debugging, but shows the coordinates for any entity you hover over. Note that the center of a gravity well is normally 400k by 400k, but we are offsetting that to 0,0 for this display.
  • In the settings menu, and settings that you have put to something other than the defaults now shows with yellow name text to make sure it is more obvious.
    • Additionally, if you have altered an advanced field, but the advanced field is not on, then it will show you that despite it normally being hidden in advanced.
    • This now also works in the Galaxy Options page.
      • In addition on that page, if any options are locked down to specific options because of the game mode, those now show with the text (ALTERED BY CAMPAIGN MODE) under them.
    • This same coloration pattern is now applied to faction options, to be more clear what is happening with their various options.
  • In the escape menu, it now shows if your achievements are on, or if they've been disabled in that campaign because of either sandbox mode or cheats used.
  • In the mod and expansion tabs in settings, there is now a whole lot more color being used. Each mod or expansion's color and abbreviation is introduced here and used consistently.
    • The colors for all of the expansions have been updated to be prettier.
    • The mod tab shows the author of each mod next to its name and abbreviation, now. This seems like important information to really have prominent, both for purposes of credit but also for players to get a sense of who is doing things they like and thus what they might want to try more of.
    • All of the mods that are distributed with the game has been updated to include author names, colors, and abbreviations.
      • The abbreviations and colors were not chosen by the mod authors in question, so those may change in the future. But this is a good start.
  • If settings or galaxy option categories are added by a mod or expansion, or if their actual settings or options themselves are added, then they now have a little tiny second line with the color and indicator showing where it came from.
    • Same with actual settings themselves. The tooltips then have the colored full name (and abbreviation) specifying what the mod or expansion was, and who the mod author was if it's a mod.
    • This makes it DRAMATICALLY easier to tell when something is official content or something from a mod, which lets you make informed decisions.
  • The galaxy options tab now has proper tooltips for any items in sub-lists. This wasn't really used prior to the gravity well size schemas.
    • Same for the factions tab, etc.
    • This means you can now see which starting fleets or battlestation setups or whatnot came from which expansion or mod.
    • It's so easy to not realize just how much of the battlestation designs come from TSR (DLC1), by the way.
  • You can now see what mods or expansions factions came from, when you are in the process of adding factions.
  • The list of factions in the factions tab now shows what mods or DLC they came from in their tooltips and with small letters on the second line.
  • Quickstarts now show what DLC or mod they are from, which is one of those things that people were really frequently asking us!
    • For instance, it is vastly clearer now why there is a Helping Hands 2. It's from TSR and has differnet options.
  • Last expansion/mod related display item for now: The actual units having a little note about it as their very last thing.
    • Once again one of those things where people undervalue DLC1's turrets, as one example. If you don't memorize the store page, how are you supposed to know?
  • New "Metal Harvester Counts" galaxy map mode for the non-distributed economy. (The asteroid counts are already there for the distributed economy).
    • Shows which planets are more valuable in terms of how many Metal Harvester spots are present. More metal harvesters means more metal income regardless of what kind of command station you put there. Six is considered the average baseline count for metal harvester counts at a planet. Shows the same icons as the Normal view.
  • New "Gravity Well Sizes" galaxy map mode.
    • Shows which planets are larger or smaller in terms of buildable space. Larger planets are easier to defend and harder to attack... unless you have snipers. Small planets are very hard to defend, but also very hard to attack if the enemy outnumbers you enough. It's realy the combination of size plus other factors that leads to the end result.

Balance

  • Buffed Micro Concussive Missile Turret (DLC1) base damage from 300 to 425 per shot.
    • Note that as this turret fires salvos of 8 shots this is actually a bump from 2,400 to 3,400 base damage per salvo at Mark 1.

Bugfixes

  • Hacking an ARS for a ship line should trigger the achievement again
    • Reported by a lot of people, most recently soulcandy on steam
  • Fixed "Zombify Everything" to no longer be forced on in Expert mode. It was supposed to be forced off. This will affect existing Expert games.
    • Thanks to Crabby for reporting.
  • Fixed "Strikecraft Attack Power" to be 1.5x properly on Expert, whereas previously it was accidentally forced to 1x. This will affect existing Expert games.
    • Same thing with "Strikecraft Hull And Shields" needing to be 2x instead of 1x.
    • Thanks to Smidlee for reporting.
  • Fixed an error in the new "Seed AI Civil War Triggers" field that was causing that to actually turn on the civil war when it was on. This was very much nonideal. It was essentially a copy-paste error.
    • Thanks to Misfit, Vadatajs, Fire Woven, Timerlane, Crabby, and Chuito12 for reporting.
  • Fixed what looks to be a longstanding issue (but it's hard to be sure) where fleet lines with an effective cap of 0 would be shown in the "ships you have" lists, for things like C-clicking a tech.
    • This was happening more often recently because of changes to add empty fleet memberships for purposes of the "fake entity" that we use in drawing the improved tooltips (that's a long story), but the core of the issue was not all that new.
    • Thanks to UFO for reporting.
  • Fix a regression from the Asteroid Count Assignment Logic code that wouldn't actually set the asteroid count on planets created after the start of the game. This was causing the DZ planets to not have any metal harvesters, crippling the DZ economy.
    • Thanks to Democracy for reporting
  • Added some extra hardening against cross-threading exceptions in various parts of the vis layer.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen in various settings windows if you had multiple subcategories with the same number of hidden rows in them.

Multiplayer Ghost Hunting

  • Made some dramatic simplifications to the ghost check code on MP clients, which was not seeming to work. The new approach should work consistently, is easier-to-follow code, and hopefully will be the end of the ghost problem. Fingers crossed.
    • Thanks to Badger and a variety of others for reporting, and giving ideas on where the problem might be.

Mod Updates

  • Update for CRZGatecrcuhser's Reprocessors mod. it now works again.
  • Updated the civilian industries mod to be compatible with the latest code updates.
  • A new "ModDetails.txt" is now supported for mods. This should have multiple lines with various things in them.
    • Line 1 should be the nice display name.
    • Line 2 should be the author of the mod.
    • Line 3 should be the abbreviation (3-4 letters max).
    • Line 4 should be the hex color code for the mod, without a # (pound sign).
  • There is a new BuildAcronymByCapitalization() that will auto-create acronyms for mods if the above file is not specified.
    • Additionally, "ffd48a" is used as the color for any mod missing the above file.
    • And finally, the nice display names for mods will continue to be created for any mods that don't have the above.
  • An abbreviation text field is now provided for expansions as well, in their xml.
  • Normally when a faction is edited by a mod or expansion with a partial record, we don't consider that faction to now "be from that mod or expansion." This makes sense, because a lot of times the partial record only exists so some new sub-data (which will be marked as being from a mod or expansion) can be added.
    • There is now a expansion_or_mod_status_overridden="1" that is in place so that you can override this from a mod or expansion.
    • This can be used by any type of xml element that is being altered substantially enough that you want to flag it. Right now it's being used for the Kaizer's Marauders faction, which otherwise would show up as a base game feature (since they are a substantial re-edit and replacement of a base game faction).
  • For the first time, it is now possible to have new quickstarts defined in mods!
    • Simply place them in the "QuickStarts2/" folder inside the mod folder like what you see with the expansions.

3.104 Option For A Distributed Economy

(Released June 11th, 2021)

Balance

  • Ship hull techs were too expensive previously to be attractive in a lot of scenarios. They also varied in cost by the type of human hull tech. These have been standardized more, to make them more attractive.
    • Light Hull went from 7k/10k to 4k/6k.
    • Medium Hull went from 5k/8k to 4k/6k.
    • Heavy Hull went from 7k/10k to 4k/6k.
    • On the flip side, the turret hull is stupidly inexpensive given it affects potentially half of your units for just a single tech.
      • Turret Hull went from 3.5k/7.5k to 5k/9k.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for suggesting.
  • Player ships can no longer be dragged into unexplored planets by enemy tractor beams. This was allowing for extra scouting by virtue of enemy tractor beams.
  • Outguard fixes
    • Fixed several of the vanilla Outguard that didn't have the right tech and/or starting mark
    • Adjusted AIP costs of several DLC2 to be more in line with the others.
    • Hades Mirages now use expatriate tech and start at mark 2
    • Ragnar's Breachers now have the standard expatriate tech and start at mark 2 like the others
  • DZ Javelin have strength_multiplier="0.05" so they don't totally skew strength
  • Replaced Void's (made by Voidpiercer Cruiser) previous invulnerability feature with immune_to_all_damage="true"
    • I think this should fix this particular issue, but need more feedback for these edge cases with electroxic

Idle Transport Bonuses

  • The "idling transport" boost to economy used to stack, so if you had 5 unused transports you could put them all on one highly-economic planet and thus reap way too huge a benefit. It's the sort of thing that is impossible to balance when you start getting multiplicative like that.
    • Now the idling transport bonuses will only pick the highest bonus for each metal and energy at a given planet. So if you stack 5 idle transports on your best economic planet, that's now a waste. Instead you should spread them around your 5 best economic planets.
    • Advanced players note that this has some added benefits to being able to fleet-shift units around if there is desperation, as well as being able to use these transports more actively as bait.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for suggesting this new restriction.

"Pinned" Command Stations

  • The game now remembers MostRecentPlayerNonHomCommandStationType on each planet, which is the most recent type of command station that existed, in human hands, on a given planet.
    • This is useful for a variety of things, and it's data that is not erased when you scrap a command station, or when it dies, etc.
  • The game now has an IsWaveIncoming bool on planets, which is really useful to be able to check without being in the external code area.
  • Player planets now get "pinned" when there is a wave incoming at them, or when there is at least 1 enemy strength on the planet at this time.
    • When a player planet is pinned, you cannot switch what kind of command station is build there.
    • You can still scrap your command station (to avoid aggro, or to move its position by rebuilding it if you want), but you cannot build any other type other than the type you just scrapped.
    • Once the planet is no longer under assault, then you can swap the command station type again.
    • This basically prevents some command station juggling exploits where folks would run a suboptimal command station type for a planet until it was under attack, then switch to something for better defense. Or where they would bait in enemies with a weak command station and then switch it up during the middle of the attack. You have to actually commit to your choices at least a bit now.
    • Since this is something that really only affects some edge cases and exploity type behavior, we're just making this a part of the main game itself. It's not limited to Expert mode or above. It seems highly unlikely to negatively affect anyone playing Humanity Ascendant.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage, CRCGamer, and others for inspiring this change.

Campaign Type Work

  • On Deathwish and all other campaign types, it now leaves the options alone for the Nanocaust allegiances.
    • If you want to have 5 allied nanocaust, go for it. We'll assume you know what you're doing. That sort of limitation is not what Expert or Deathwish or similar are supposed to be about.
    • The actual feature that allows for this is still useful for things that are balance-style configuration on the player, or purely meant for sandbox mode.
  • If you're playing in sandbox mode, achievements are now properly blocked.
  • "Experimental: Ally with AI" has been renamed to "Sandbox: Ally with AI"
  • "Sandbox: AI Civil War" has been renamed to "Chaos: AI Civil War", and has been moved from the Sandbox subcategory of AI Behavior to instead be in the Advanced Dangers section.
    • This is now allowable as an option all the way up through Challenger, and is forced off only on Expert and up.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage, Atomikkrab, and Ovalcircle for weighing in on this feature and how it should be classified based on how people currently use it.
  • New Scouting option, under Fog of War: Revealing Map Details Is Considered Cheating
    • Information management is a big part of this game, and if you reveal the entire map from the start, you get flooded with information overload. Also it makes certain things a bit too easy to plan.
    • If you go a step further, and set all the planets to Watched, then you can see all enemy movements all the time, which completely negates any need for Spies and other core mechanics like how Logistical command stations can watch a large area around them.
    • For most people, therefore, using those sorts of tools is clearly a cheat that circumvents a nontrivial part of the game. On the other hand, there is a subset of players who simply prefers to focus on other things in the game, and who view this as a lifestyle choice: they get up to plenty-complicated games without this on.
    • Below the Expert campaign type, we thus leave it to you to decide if you feel like this is a cheat or not for your purposes (that mainly impacts ability to get achievements). On Expert and above, you'll have to manage your intel fully.
    • This has been a perpetual thorn in Chris's side for a long time, so being able to have this fully demarcated now is a really nice thing. It now defaults to thinking of it as a cheat, whereas before it always called it a lifestyle choice.
  • Under Mapgen, Extra Seeded Items, there is a new option: Seed AI Civil War Triggers
    • Defaults to seeding them. If there are multiple AI factions, and you find and destroy one of these triggers, then all of the AIs will change.
    • Note that, until now, Communication Nodes (the triggers) have been seeded in EVERY game with multiple AIs, no matter what.
    • We're leaving that as the default behavior up through Challenger (hey, it's a nice way to discover a new game mode), but then barring these as an option at all on Expert and up.
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle for the reminder that these needed to be gated.
  • Added a new setting to Balance -> Human Balance: Humans Can Tractor Enemies Through Wormholes
    • Defaults to on. Normally if you have an enemy in your tractor beams, you can drag them through wormholes. And the enemy can do the same to you. If this setting is disabled, then your ships will drop their prey when they transit wormholes.
    • This is mainly something specific to quite advanced play, where some clever players were able to set up 'Reverse Beachheading' in a bit of an exploitative fashion.
    • This is forced to Off on Deathwish. It's an option to turn it off on any mode lower than deathwish, and defaults to On on them.
    • For most modes, let's see how some of the other changes shake out before we really figure out how "overly powerful" (which is subjective and tricky to pin down) strategies fare. If we introduce some cool new things that are more effective than reverse beachheading, then it falls out of use and isn't even a problem worth trying to balance. We'll see what happens.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for suggesting.

Optional Tech Cost Overrides

  • Added a new cost_override sub-node that can be added to tech upgrades. This lets you entirely replace the costs of tech upgrades, or even the number of times a tech can be upgraded.
    • This is something that is meant to be used sparingly, but it's a nice new pattern for xml swap-ins in general, and really has a ton of flexibiltiy to it.
    • As far as the core purpose of this specific one goes, it really should be used super sparingly because we are not trying to diverge the game modes that much.
    • That said, the current thinking is that things like Battlestations may be quite a bit too cheap to upgrade for purposes of the high-level meta. That's a pretty specific subset of the game, mostly centered around beachheading being a bit OP at the moment in the top meta. We don't want to nerf this for everyone, though.
    • This also has an optional atribute of only_applies_if_setting_is_on, which lets this sort of thing be optional based on a setting (which, yeah, that's a good idea when you want to communicate that it can happen, versus it just being invisibly part of the new mode).
    • One example sub-node looks like this: <cost_override min_campaign_harshness_to_apply="0" max_campaign_harshness_to_apply="9999" only_applies_if_setting_is_on="BattlestationDirectUpgradesCostMore" science_cost_per_time_unlocked="1000,2000,3000,3500,3500,3500"/>
  • Added a new "Battlestation Direct Upgrades Cost More" galaxy option to the Human Balance subsection.
    • This is dynamically tied in with a custom cost structure for both the citadel and battlestation direct upgrades.
    • The costs (for now) move from: 500,1500,2000,2500,2500,3000
      • To: 1000,2000,3000,3500,3500,3500
    • This cost adjustment is a wild guess, so please feel free to tune it, those with source access who are also expert players. Right now it's more about the core feature being possible and you folks being able to test what feels correct.
    • This new option can be on in any mode, from sandbox on up through HA. However, it starts being forced on at Expert.

Distributed Economy Mode

  • New galaxy option in the Balance -> Human Balance section: Humans: Use Distributed Resource Generation Mode.
    • This is not flagged as an advanced option, because we want this highly visible for anyone who wants to use it. It's an option up until Expert mode, where it is forced on.
    • This is a feature with HUGE impact on the overall flow of the game. It's required for Expert mode and up, but you can use it at any level.
    • In this mode, your Metal Harvesters become Asteroid Mining Powerplants. The bulk of your metal and energy will be generated via this mines, rather than your central command stations. However, what kind of command station you choose will either give bonuses or penalties to asteroid mines.
    • A lot of fairly straightforward things happen as a result of this, but it makes the game more complex (and interesting). High-asteroid planets are worth far more to your economy than low-asteroid ones. Economic command stations suddenly aren't easy to just stick anywhere for maximum effect.
    • And perhaps most notably, the AI has a number of places at which to attack your economy now, on every planet. The Metal Harvesters have a very low priority for the AI, because they are rebuilt quickly and you lose little from them being down. Asteroid Mining Powerplants are slower and more expensive to rebuild, and can put a strain on your metal or energy generation while they are gone. This gives the AI way more chances to be clever.
  • The existing Metal Harvester unit has been updated with the following description to help explain it better:
    • Metal-rich asteroid with attached mine and refinery. Low stakes to defend, as they can be rebuilt quickly and cheaply and are a small-ish part of your economy.
  • Added a new "Asteroid Mining Powerplant" unit, with the following description:
    • Metal-rich asteroid with attached mine and refinery, plus an onboard energy powerplant. High stakes to defend, as these are expensive and slow to rebuild, as well as being the bulk of your economic output on a planet. The type of command station you place on a planet has an enormous impact on how much each of these asteroids generates for you.
    • These are basically a Metal Harvester, but with the following differences:
      • Each one generates 14k energy, with an extra 6k energy per mark level.
      • Each one generates 50 metal per second, with an extra 20 metal per mark level. Before it was 75 and 50.
      • They have hull points of 9k now, rather than 75k. (For reference, hull points of an econ command station is 7.5k).
      • They have shield points of 6k now, rather than 0. (For reference, shield points of an econ command station is 20k).
      • These now have a metal cost of 50k (which affects rebuild costs), as well as a claim cost of 50k. The metal harvesters originally only cost 40k metal to claim, and nothing to repair. Econ command stations cost 45k to build, for reference.
      • The enemy priority for killing these is now very high, since it will affect players a lot more.
    • These are only seeded in the new "Distributed Resource Generation Mode" that is a more interesting/challenging toggle for players to use.
  • In "Distributed Resource Generation Mode", the following changes are made to metal production from various command stations:
    • Home are down from 2200 metal per second, plus 400 per mark level, to:
      • 800/s direct metal, plus 100 per mark level. Plus 6x multiplier to output of Asteroid Mines in the system.
    • Economic are down from 400 metal per second, plus 220 per mark level, to:
      • 150/s direct metal, plus 75 per mark level. Plus 3x multiplier to output of Asteroid Mines in the system.
    • Logi are up from 90 metal per second, plus 50 per mark level, to:
      • 140/s direct metal, plus 70 per mark level. Plus 1.5x multiplier to output of Asteroid Mines in the system.
    • Mil are up from 50 metal per second, plus 20 per mark level, to:
      • 130/s direct metal, plus 60 per mark level. No extra output of Asteroid Mines in the system.
  • In "Distributed Resource Generation Mode", the following changes are made to energy production from various command stations:
    • Home are down from 350k, plus 25k per mark level, to:
      • 150k direct energy, plus 10k per mark level. Plus 2x multiplier to output of Asteroid Mines in the system.
    • Economic are down from 500k, plus 180k per mark level, to:
      • 300k direct energy, plus 100k per mark level. Plus 4x multiplier to output of Asteroid Mines in the system.
    • Logi are down from 175k, plus 50k per mark level, to:
      • 80k direct energy, plus 25k per mark level. Ouch, though. Asteroid Mines only get 0.6x of their normal output in this system.
    • Mil are up from 70k, plus 10k per mark level, to:
      • 70k direct energy, plus 10k per mark level. Ouch, though. Asteroid Mines only get 0.25x of their normal output in this system.
  • Thanks to CRCGamer for suggesting that on the more advanced mode, Logi stations should have about 70% of the energy output as previous.

Viewing Asteroid Counts Per Planet

  • Added a new "Asteroid Counts" galaxy map display mode.
    • Shows which planets are more valuable in terms of how many Asteroid Mining Powerplants are present. You will want to strongly consider using economy-focused command stations on those with high counts. Six is considered the average baseline count for asteroid counts at a planet. Shows the same icons as the Normal view.
    • Only appears when the Distributed Economy is turned on.
    • Thanks to Zeus for suggesting.
  • In general, added the ability for galaxy map display modes to only show up when they feel like it actually matters.
    • This can let us exclude certain ones from the view of a Champion or Necromancer, or add new ones, or whatever we want.
  • The number of asteroid mines (or metal harvesters) is now shown on the planet tooltip in general.

New Asteroid Count Assignment Logic

  • The way that asteroid counts are assigned to planets has been completely rewritten.
    • Existing logic we're keeping:
      • All Human Homeworlds still have exactly 6 asteroids, never more or less.
      • All Dark Zenith worlds still have exactly 6-10 asteroids, completely randomized.
      • All AI Bastion worlds still have exactly 9-11 asteroids, completely randomized.
    • Adusted Logic:
      • AI Homeworlds now give exactly 10 asteroids, rather than exactly 8. More of a reward for multi-AI games.
    • New logic:
      • The game then looks at the planets around each human homeworld, for a target number of not-yet-asigned-worlds.
        • If it's 1 player, then ideally 10.
        • If it's 2 players, then try for 7 per homeworld.
        • 3 players, try 6 per. 4 player try 4 per, 5+ players try 3 per.
        • Bear in mind that it looks at the closest planets to each homeworld... but if they are clustered all in a corner, that will mean further out. The game will only look up to 10 hops out, so if it's an exceptionally narrow corner and tons of players are in there, that's just going to give you fewer nice planets of this sort. That seems fair, given the insane defensibility you now have anyway.
        • First of all, one 9-asteroid planet is seeded somewhere in this range.
        • Then one 2-asteroid planet is seeded somewhere in this range.
        • Then up to two 6-asteroid planets are seeded somewhere in this range.
        • Then if there is room: 1 7-as, 1 5-as, 1 8-as, 1 4-as, 1 10-as if we got this far, and then 1 3-as if we got that far. If we still got further, it should do 1 11-as, an then one 2-as, although we should never hit that really.
      • The above gives a consistent value to the planets in the general neighborhood of the players, to keep things from being too harsh on them.
      • At this point, we now make a list of all of the remaining planets that do not have assignments as-yet.
        • First we assign 6-as to a full third of the remaining planets.
          • Well, if that number of planets would be more than 10, however, we take that number over 10 and divide it into 2. The first half of those will be 7-as, the second half 5-as.
          • The idea is that a third of the map is thoroughly average, or hovering right near it at least.
        • The next third of planets is divided between 8-as planets and 4-as planets.
        • The next third of planets is divided into thirds as well. First third of that third is 9-as, second is 3-as, and then the next third of a third is divided into two parts: 2-as and then 12-as.
        • If there is a remainder at this point (that's likely because of integer math), then those are all randomly assigned to something in the 7-11 range. So very desirable planets if there's this remainder.
    • This whole setup is designed to give overall more consistent games in terms of asteroid counts and distributions (now that it matters), while still having quite a bit of randomness in there.
    • If you want to see all the calculations and such as they go into any given map, then in the debug section of your personal settings you can turn on Mapgen Logging, and it now shows this.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed a variety of places in ProcessFactionConfigCustomFields(), which happens during mapgen primarily, where old or outdated settings could lead to exceptions when trying to read new values. Essentially if your last settings were old enough, or blank, you could have a rough time until you hit Reset To Defaults in the lobby.
    • Thanks to Chromatism for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue introduced in the last couple of versions where fallen spire flagships could seed as officers to capture out in the galaxy.
    • This was due to the shifts in lone wolf fleets, but now they are barred from seeding in that way.
    • Thanks to Wuffell for reporting.
  • Added a new causes_parent_fleet_to_not_allow_ship_line_swaps="true" that can be assigned to specific flagships/centerpieces to prevent their fleet from being able to do member line swaps.
    • This now applies to all of the fallen spire cities/fleets, to prevent all sorts of odd abuses with them that became possible in the last version or so.
    • Thanks to supamat and Vadatajs for reporting.
  • Fix a typo in economic cc tech upgrade
    • Thanks to crawlers for reporting
  • Covert Science Extraction is no longer listed as available in the AI command station
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for passing on a report from steam

Mod Updates

  • MSF
    • Added several new fleets, bringing the total amount to about 20. Rebalanced or reworked several older fleets + updated ship counts in order to make them more synergistic and consistent with base game starter fleets.
    • Added the SOF fleet, a raid frigate focused fleet for quick offensive operations.
    • Added the Conqueror's fleet, a heavy frigate fleet designed for offensive operations and assaults.
    • Added the Siege Fleet, a fleet composed of heavy frigates with slow speeds but high firepower, exceptional against structures.
    • Added the Riot fleet, a defensive fleet focused on suppressor and forcefield frigates, emulating Riot Starships from AIWC.
    • Added the Ranger's Fleet, a fleet focused on striking hard and fast at all ranges, a bit on the fragile side.
    • Rebalanced the Imperial Fleet, Democracy Fleet, Barrage Fleet, Escort Fleet, Carrier Fleet, Assassin Fleet, to have more synergistic ship lines and updated their ship counts.

New Mod: More Starting Fleets Plus

  • The Omega Fleet (Thanatos Fleet), Emperor's Fleet (Assault Frigate only fleet), and the Cruiser Fleet are all considered cheat fleets, and have been moved to their own mod: MSF+, for those who want to play with random fleets and not want to use cheat fleets.
    • These were previously directly in the More Starting Fleets mod, by Zweihand.

New Mod: Capturable Dreadnoughts

  • New mod by Zweihand: Capturable Dreadnoughts!
    • Spire Dreadnoughts, Battleships, and Cruisers are now capturable on the map for owners of DLC1.
    • This was inspired by a bug that allowed all flagships to seed, even uncapturable ones like Spire capital ships.
    • These bad boys cost a lot of metal, energy, and raise the AIP considerably, but are very well worth it.

3.103 Reality-Bending Tooltip Hotfix

(Released June 9th, 2021)

  • Fixed a rather severe bug in the prior version that was introduced in regards to the "fake entity" that we use for tooltips. It was accidentally set up to actually overwrite data that is unrelated game data at times, although it wasn't consistent exactly how to cause it. Generally hovering over the build sidebar, or sometimes just having a tooltip drawn in general, was enough to do it.
    • The result was things like all the factories being removed from a fleet, all the turrets of a type being blown up from a fleet, all the turrets of one sort converting to another kind, all the buildings of one kind turning into engineers before exploding, and duplicate copies of certain ship lines in funky ways. In short: chaos.
    • Thanks to General Frost and various others for reporting.
  • The new "Humans: Metal/Energy Discounts For Lower-Mark Units" are no longer forced-off on any campaign types. This has been around for so long (on quietly for 2+ years) that having it suddenly off on the other modes is likely to cause problems. The ability to turn it off right now is just a personal choice, until we get a lot more feedback.
    • Thanks to swizzlewizzle for suggesting.

Mod Updates

  • Fixed the Civilian Industries mod to work with the latest code version in the prior build.
  • Both "AI Shield Generators" and "Macrophage Histiocytes" mods have been recompiled to avoid the "missing method exception errors" that they were having in at least the prior version, if not more.
  • "The Reprocessors" mod is currently broken (same missing method exception issue), and has been disabled from any use until it can be updated by its mod author.
    • Any existing savegames with it are unlikely to work until such an update is made.

3.102 The Start Of Multiple Campaign Types

(Released June 8th, 2021)

Please note that this was temporarily rolled back to just be on the beta branch, as it had at least one strange bug. Please use the current_beta branch to play it until we release a hotfix.

  • Some improvements to AI-allied factions to make sure they don't inadvertently shoot eachother
    • Thanks to a number of people for reporting, including ussdefiant and Darkshade
  • Add some defensive code to GetWormholeStatus
  • Shark Exos now say "I am a shark exo" in the announcement text

Balance

  • Took the over the top power level granted by self-hacks to golems down a notch. Hacks now have a higher initial cost and aren't quite so multiplicative in total overall value.
  • Added a new cannot_be_supercharged_when_in_supercharged_fleet="true" option for ships, to allow for certain ones to be invalid for fleet-wide bonuses (from the FRS).
    • The intent here is mainly to use this on certain golems and things that were Lone Wolf ships. This is currently applied to all of the golems in the base game, and likely should cascade over to the variants on those in DLC2.
    • In the tooltip, you will see "FLEET BONUSES DO NOT APPLY: Fleet-wide bonuses don't help this particular unit no matter what."
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for suggesting, as we did have some runaway crazy combos possible with these. It also does help Arks remain more unique in another way.
  • Adjusted Raijin Golem (DLC2) to not benefit from FRS buffs same as baseline non-lonewolf officer golems. Additionally gave it a boost to base health in compensation.
    • Raijin Golem base hull value 1,000,000 -> 1,600,000. This means with the hacks it can reach 25.2m hull value. Which is still less than the 32m+ it could previously reach with a Tutelar Pulsar Tank FRS unit in fleet. But much more called for than the health cap of 15.75m it would have otherwise.
  • The concept of "Lone Wolf" fleets no longer exists.
    • The Hive Golem, Botnet Golem, Frenzy Golem (DLC2), Retribution Golem (DLC2), and Spire Lost Frigate are the only units affected.
    • These are all now just regular officer fleets, however these all have the new "cannot be supercharged" flag on them.
    • This means that they can hack like normal fleet leaders can, and they can have other units in fleets with them. In general it changes little except for removing some annoying restrictions on how to use them in moment to moment battles and hacks.
    • It also used to be that these specific units only spawned in really limited numbers way out in the galaxy. They can all now seed anywhere a regular officer fleet can.
    • This also means the "Lone Wolf Fleets To Seed" setting is now gone. And in general there is one less officer (which was a lone wolf) in the galaxy compared to before. But you have more chance of more powerful ones in the middle distance, so that should actually even out almost.
    • In the fleets sidebar, this also moves them into the same category with other officer fleets.
  • Fixed a display-only issue with DPS being over-reported for units that have aoe_spreads_damage_among_available_targets="true". It was acting like the Siege Frigate could do a range of x to 10x damage, for instance, when really it can only do x damage divided different ways amongst targets.
    • This had no effect on the actual strength estimates or similar.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for reporting.
  • Fixed inconsistencies between direct upgrade costs for people with DLC2 and without DLC2, as direct costs were updated after DLC2.
    • Thanks to Zweihander for fixing.
  • Corrected an oversight on Siege Frigates, where their strength was being reported as 2x what it should have been,
    • There is a strength_multiplier="2" (or whatever number) that we use in the case of AOE and other special-bonus (or special-penalty) units to account with hand-tuning for units that have an un-quantifiable amount of extra power based on AOE.
    • For instance, how do you mathematically calculate a strength number for an ion cannon that does infinite damage to lower-mark ships. Is it infinity strength? Is it half-infinity because it doesn't do that to ships the same level as it? Half infinity is still infinity, anyway. There's no actual math that works for this.
    • For a seemingly-easier example, what about a unit that has some major damage buffs, but only on a tiny subset of ships? Should we calculate out proportionately how many ships there are in the game that it could have a bonus against, and give it a buff to strength that is multiplied by that? Well, that might in theory work, but we have no way of knowing how many would actually be in a given game. So we need to use a soft multiplier, instead.
    • For a last one that is seemingly super easy, AOE in general. If there's a ship that does X damage, but can hit up to 50 targets, then... what is the best strength? It's unlikely to hit 50 targets with every burst it fires. But it's no more likely to hit 25, or just 1, either. We run the calculation as if it just hits 1, and then allow for the strength_multiplier="3" or something to come in as a way of making it look a bit more accurate. And we can tune that much further up if it still feels too low. But it's very much down to feel, and kind of has to be because of the nature of AOE damage. Which should be the most straightforward from a mathematical sense (and is), but is so context-bound that even the simple math has no actual answer because the inputs vary so much.
    • All of this is to say, originally at some point, Siege Frigates were given a 2x multiplier because of their AOE. However, then at some point later, they were adjusted to have a maximum of 10 targets that they can hit, AND they were adjusted to divide one pool of damage amongst the targets they do hit. So this is actually incredibly simple math: they do x damage, whether they hit 1 target or 10. It's just divided differently. So in this case, this is a great example of an AOE unit needing... no strength multiplier at all. That has been returned to 1.
    • Thanks to Aliyah for reporting that 100 strength of Siege Frigates felt more like 66. Technically it actually should have felt like 50, and in this new update would show as 50.
  • With the removal of the strength multiplier from the base Siege Frigate a couple ships that were copying from its stat block have been directly handed those multipliers.
    • Devestator Frigate given multiplier of 1.5
    • Ion Disruptor Frigate given multiplier of 1.5

Campaign-Type Work

  • Added in new xml entries for Sandbox, Challenger (aka Sub-Expert), Expert, and Deathwish game modes (aka campaign types).
    • Each of these note that they are incomplete, compared to Humanity Ascendant.
  • Added a new harshness_rating integer on campaign types.
    • For most features, we will use this to gate features, rather than explicit mode linkages. This will allow for mods and similar to add their own custom campaign types, if they wish, or adjust which features show up in which campaign types.
    • These are additive modes, so the harshness is being defined as follows (with plenty of space for intermediate needs if desired):
      • Sandbox = 0
      • HA = 100
      • Challenger = 500
      • Expert = 1000
      • Deathwish = 5000
  • Also added is_considered_sandbox="true" for sandbox mode in particular, which will allow for us to disable achievements in that mode as well as make special things that change ranges or add in new items for sandbox mode in particular.
  • The campaign type is now saved into each savegame, and is also shown at the top of the escape menu.
  • On "galaxy options," there has long been a min and max for the various integer options. It now has a new sandbox_min and sandbox_max, which are optional but let us override to larger ranges for sandbox mode.
    • Also there was a default value. There is now also a corresponding sandbox_default optional field. This last one also works for boolean fields, which can thus turn something on or off by default if in sandboxmode
  • There is a new min_campaign_harshness_to_display="0" value, and a new max_campaign_harshness_to_display="9999", which can be used to restrict various fields from appearing at all in different game modes.
  • In general, the lobby settings (integer-style galaxy options, specifically) now clamp themselves to allowed values if they are being read, rather than potentially being some old data that is now out of range.
    • This is particularly relevant when being able to switch between modes back and forth in the lobby right now.
    • When new integer values are being written, this also now applies the clamps for the same reason.
  • Galaxy options now have a GetHarshnessWindowRelation(), which returns an enum saying Sandbox, BelowButNotSandbox, InWindow, or Above.
    • This is all based on the min and max campaign_harshness_to_display. That min and max creates the window, but anything flagged as sandbox is just separate in general.
  • Added a new fixed_option_if_below_campaign_harshness_but_not_sandbox="string" for all string fields.
    • And then also a new fixed_option_if_above_campaign_harshness="string ".
    • This lets us clamp to an exact option (including different ones) below or above various campaign harshnesses, with fields that are hidden or displayed.
  • For integer and boolean fields, added fixed_value_if_below_campaign_harshness_but_not_sandbox="int" and fixed_value_if_above_campaign_harshness="int"
    • This serves the same purpose as above.
  • Rather than ever hiding fields if your current campaign type does not include that field in its harshness range (or forces it to a specific value for that mode), it now shows those fields in a non-editable format that you can hover over, and it shows you at what campaign type you can start editing it.
    • This will also be useful for people who are considering moving from Humanity Ascendant to Challenger or higher -- being able to see options that are there but not available to them in their current mode (so long as they turn on advanced settings), versus having to notice the campaign type itself.
  • Updated the custom fields on factions to have all of the various new functionality that Galaxy Options have in relation to campaign types, sandbox mode, etc.

New Galaxy Options!

  • New setting to allow us players the option to disable something that was already there: Humans: Metal Discounts For Lower-Mark Units (in the Human Balance section)
    • In a fleet with wildly divergent mark levels, the ships with a lower mark level will become much cheaper to construct and repair. Does not apply to drones.
    • A ship that is 1 mark lower than max is 90% of the cost. A ship 2 marks down is 75%. Three down is 55%, four is 35%, five is 25%, and six is 10%.
    • This defaults to on in both Humanity Ascendant and Challenger modes, but makes the economy much more trivial in some ways. Then again, it also provides more value from using all your ships, so that's kind of nice. This is forced off in Expert mode and above.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for discovering that this old logic was even still here, after all this time.
  • New setting to allow us players the option to disable something that was already there: Humans: Energy Discounts For Lower-Mark Units (in the Human Balance section)
    • In a fleet with wildly divergent mark levels, the ships with a lower mark level will become much cheaper to operate. Does not apply to drones.
    • A ship that is 1 mark lower than max is 90% of the energy requirement. A ship 2 marks down is 75%. Three down is 60%, four is 45%, five is 30%, and six is 20%.
    • This defaults to on in both Humanity Ascendant and Challenger modes, but makes the economy much more trivial in some ways. Then again, it also provides more value from using all your ships, so that's kind of nice. This is forced off in Expert mode and above.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for discovering that this old logic was even still here, after all this time.

Galaxy Options Per Campaign Type

  • Various galaxy options changes:
    • Max Planets To Scout At Once: defaults and main game values all same; sandbox min is 0, sandbox max 30, max_campaign_harshness_to_display="500". Aka this forces 8 when in Expert+, but is configurable on Challenger.
    • Minimal Fog of War: now only available up through Challenger mode. Forces false when in Expert+.
    • Reveal Factions From The Start: now only available up through Challenger mode. Forces false when in Expert+.
    • Wave Advance Warning: now only available through Expert mode. Forces None (no warning) when on Deathwish.
    • Allow Cross Planet Waves: now only available through Challenger mode. Forces it to true on Expert+.
    • Allow Direct Waves: now only available in Humanity Ascendant mode. Forces it to true on Challenger+ (it's on by default even in HA mode).
    • AI Can Retake Planets: now only available in Humanity Ascendant mode. Forces it to true on Challenger+ (it's on by default even in HA mode).
    • Guard Aggro Distance: now only available in Humanity Ascendant mode. Forces it to the default of 3000 if on Challenger+.
      • The range of this is normally 3k-10k. In sandbox mode, the new range is 0k to 50k.
    • AI Reserves Grace Period: now only available in Humanity Ascendant mode. Forces it to 0 (no warning) if on Challenger+. Default is normally 60 seconds.
    • Reduced Distance Restriction For Any Items: now only available in Humanity Ascendant mode. Forces it to 0 if on Challenger+. Default is normally 0 even in HA mode.
      • Normal max here is 6, but in sandbox mode it's now 50.
    • Beacons Enabled: now only available in Humanity Ascendant mode. Forces it off if on Challenger+. Default is normally on in HA mode, but this is for purposes of learning and exploration. Balance often gets funky if you introduce these later.
      • Random factions will be coming for the game in general in July, and for folks on Challenger+ mode, that would be the sort of thing they'd want to add in place of beacons.
    • The entire Capturable Density section (well, all of the ones expresses as a multiplier) is now only available in Humanity Ascendant mode. On Challenger+, it forces the default seeding volumes.
    • Tech Vaults, in general, are now only in Humanity Ascendant mode. Yes it's nice to have lots of capturables even in the more advanced modes, but these are pretty darn powerful, and there's already soon going to be some exciting new stuff you (must) capture in Challenger+ modes.
    • Max Normal Data Centers: now only available in Humanity Ascendant mode. Forces it to 5 if on Challenger+. Default is normally 6 even in HA mode. Before you worry about this, please wait and see the Major Data Center changes. :)
      • The range in HA mode is already 0-9. In sandbox mode, the new range is now 0-20. Crazytown.
    • Max Major Data Centers: now only available in Humanity Ascendant mode. Forces it to 4 if on Challenger+. Default is normally 2 in HA mode. Prior to now, the maximum ever allowed was 3.
      • The new range for these is now 0-5 in HA mode, rather than the old 0-3. In sandbox mode, the range is now 0-10.
      • There are, in general, now more data centers total in Challenger+ mode than in the old HA defaults (9 rather than 8). However, 4 of those are now the much more costly and complicated Major Data Centers, so that's a lot more challenging to navigate.
    • Max Distribution Nodes: now only available in Humanity Ascendant mode. Forces it to 4 if on Challenger+. Default is normally 6 in HA mode. Prior to now, the maximum ever allowed was 12.
      • The new range for these is now 0-12 in HA mode, rather than the old 0-9. In sandbox mode, the range is now 0-20.
    • The entire Unit Style Relative Strengths is now only available through Challenger mode. On Expert+ it is forced to the default 1x.
      • This is a prime example of where sometimes folks want the ability to play in a really different balance scenario, but also want to have the Expert-style gameplay flow, and Challenger is meant for that sort of middle-ground to be possible.
      • Suffice it to say, this field is a tool to completely rewrite the balance of the game if you want, so on Expert+ it is Right Out. It already has such a broad range that it didn't need any extra range for sandbox mode.
    • Scrap Refunds On Friendly Planets: now only available in Humanity Ascendant mode. Forces it to 15% if on Challenger+. Default is normally 15% even in HA mode.
      • Normal max here is 50%, but in sandbox mode it's now 200%.
    • When Crippled: Bail Out To Nearest Friendly Planet: now only available as an option through Challenger mode. Forces it on if on Expert+. Default is normally off in HA and Challenger mode, but for Expert you need to start learning how to deal with this.
      • As Sage notes: "Without bailout, territorial considerations in terms of how the player moves through the galaxy can be/are trivialized."
    • When Crippled: Bail Out To Nearest Home Planet: now only available as an option through Expert mode. Forces it on if on Deathwish. Default is normally off in all other modes, but for Deathwish this makes things even more of a penalty when they die.
      • Note that there's going to be some much more strict death conditions in Deathwish anyhow, so this is just the tip of that particular iceberg. Your nice shiny golem will later become a really junky basic transport during this kind of death, but that's not in yet.
    • Cost Of Repairing Crippled Transports: now only available as an option through Expert mode. Forces it to 4x on Deathwish. Default is normally 2x in all other modes, but you can go as low as 1x.
    • Lost Hacking Points When Unit Crippled: now only available as an option through Expert mode. Forces it to 10 HAP on Deathwish. Default is normally 0 in all other modes, but you can go as high as 20.
    • All Ship Attack Ranges: now only available as an option through Challenger mode. Forces it to 0.8x if on Expert+. Default is normally 0.8x in HA and Challenger mode. This is another of those "wow this gets too powerful" options, even though it affects all units. It's good for Challenger mode since some people may just prefer this style, but it's really preferred to be in sandbox in an ideal world.
    • Permadeath for Metal Harvesters: optional in every mode. Not required on any of them.
    • Permadeath for Zenith Generators: only an option up through Challenger mode, now. On Expert+ it is forced on. This already defaults to on even in HA mode, so it's tempting to force it on in Challenger. But no, that's the mode for compromises.
    • Sandbox: AI Civil War: this is now only an option in Sandbox mode. In all other modes, it is forced off and invisible.
    • Experimental: Ally with AI: this is now only an option in Sandbox mode. In all other modes, it is forced off and invisible.
    • Share Allied NPC Vision: only an option up through Challenger mode, now. On Expert+ it is forced off. This already defaults to off even in HA mode, but this is the sort of thing that would be particuarly desired with Vassals and such in the future, so letting it remain even through Challenger makes sense.
    • Allied Factions Generate AIP: only an option up through Challenger mode, now. On Expert+ it is forced on. This already defaults to on even in HA mode.
    • Allow Everything To Zombify: only an option up through Challenger mode, now. On Expert+ it is forced off. This already defaults to off even in HA mode.
    • Instigator Bases Spawn: only an option up in HA mode, now. On Challenge+ it is forced on. This already defaults to on even in HA mode. This makes things way too easy even for Challenger.
  • Various galaxy options we don't know what to do with yet, so are continuing to allow players to freely customize in any mode (for now):
    • Tsunami CPA
    • Shark A (AIP on Human Cmd Death)
    • Shark B (Attacks on Human Cmd Death)
    • Planets To Randomize: Marks 2-6
    • Planets To Randomize: Marks 1-4
    • Extra Allowed Distance For Adjacent-Seeded Items
    • Extra Allowed Distance For Middle-Distance Items
    • These ones are ostensibly for performance purposes, so limiting them feels odd, but we might have to:
      • Num NPC Units To Start Stacking
      • Num Player Units To Start Stacking
      • Advanced: Coarse-Process BG Planets
      • Max Ship Systems To Calculate Per Targeting Pass
      • Max Targets Per Ship System Per Targeting Pass
      • Extreme: Shots All Insta Hit
      • Max targets Fireteams can scan in one iteration
    • These ones feel like they are mostly a personal choice at any level of play (any mode), but it's hard to be sure:
      • Concentrate Unit Firepower
      • Ships Attack Methodically
      • Defensive Zombies Only
      • Repair Allied Units
      • Allied factions destroy command stations
  • Ironman mode (to be released later in July) will be required-on for Deathwish mode.
    • Reminder: if you want "Deathwish minus parts you dislike," then just play Expert mode and turn on some of the extra options to get the parts you want. Any mode in Challenger-and-up can be configured upwards into the modes above it (or worse).
  • Tech Vaults are incredibly powerful, but a great draw for new players. For the last while, they have defaulted to 1 per galaxy, with a range of 0-3 that you could configure.
    • They now default to 3 per galaxy, with a range of 0-5. In sandbox mode, the range jumps to 0-20.
    • In Challenger mode and up, these still are forced to zero now. Normally we don't bar something outright from Challenger (usually it's optional on challenger but then barred on Expert), but these feel like they cross the line into just being too powerful for any of the Expert areas, and there already will be other capturables around.
    • Thanks to Metrekec for suggesting the extra TVs for HA mode.
  • Extragalactic War: Ignore Minor Factions (and the two other "ignores" of this sort) now start with the text "Basically a cheat code." They are also now only available in Humanity Ascendant and Sandbox mode.
    • Thanks to Badger for clarifying.

Ability To Limit Or Add To Dropdowns In Galaxy Or Faction Options

  • Added a new use_alt_options_if_harshness_above="number" to both galaxy options and faction custom fields.
    • This is then paired with an alt_arbitrary_options, which can include different values.
  • The options cache that is used on faction custom fields is now cleared once per second and rebuilt, so that any changes of relevance can be applied properly.
    • On the galaxy options tab, it actually uses a cache now for the first time, and also gives more details for them than it used to. Tooltips and such are possible for the sub-options now.
  • Fixed a general issue where if you changed things that changed what dropdown options were available in a faction tab or galaxy options tab dropdown, it would not refresh the list until you changed sub-tabs or main tabs.
    • This just never was relevant until now.
  • All data tables in the entire game can now have hidden_from_lists_above_harshness="number" and hidden_from_lists_below_harshness="number" set on them, though it won't do anything unless they're used in a faction option list or galaxy option list.
    • These default to 9999 and 0, by default, so that they will normaly all show in every mode. A specific table can be altered to adjust these defaults, if desired.
    • At the moment, we are using this to exclude the Sniper Fleet from Expert mode and up, but that's mostly as an experiment. There are some fleets that folks on discord were suggesting might be too powerful for Expert and up, but we'd still allow those on Challenger unless they are pure cheese/
      • Right now, it's nothing personal against the Sniper Fleet except that it combos uncannily well with certain other fleets, so this was a good one to test with. We're hoping other folks working on these fleets (and that includes modded fleets) will help set limits on them.
      • Essentially on each fleet definition (or starting battlestation or support fleet definition), just add:
        • hidden_from_lists_above_harshness="200" if you want it hidden from Challenger and up.
        • hidden_from_lists_above_harshness="700" if you want it hidden from Expert and up.
        • hidden_from_lists_above_harshness="1500" if you want it hidden from Deathwish.
    • On the flip side, if you want things to only be on higher harshness levels, you can also set that. If you have some mega-difficult starting fleet idea that you would never want a new player to run into by accident, you can do that. It would still come up in the Random option on the modes you did allow it in, so I guess watch out for that.
  • Looking at faction options to limit:
    • All Nanocaust options seem like valid things for any mode, even them being allied to you. We're assuming you're fighting with them as allies against some other team. None of that is something to gate by mode.
      • Okay, for the sake of argument and for the sake of experimentation, we've made it so that on Deathwish mode you can no longer have them be allied to yourself.
    • All AI options are also for just configuring various circumstances and scenarios. There's nothing in there that's... cheaty.
    • For the rest of the factions, we're going to skip a review of their options for the time being. If you have suggestions about things that should be limited, please let us know.
  • Looking at options on humans, specificallu:
    • Number of Cryogenic Pods: this is normally a range of 0-30, default 25. This can no longer be configured on Challenger+, and is locked into the default of 25. On sandbox mode it now lets you have 0-50 of these.
      • This is one of those cases where the economic imbalance is so huge that, again, this is practically a cheat code when raised too much. These do also represent a weak spot on your homeworld, though, so having a certain number makes sense.
    • Number of Home Settlements: this is normally a range of 0-5, default 4. This can no longer be configured on Challenger+, and is locked into the default of 5. On sandbox mode it now lets you have 0-15 of these.
      • Same notes as above on the cheat-code-ness of this option.

New Mod: More Starting Fleets, by Zweihand

  • This mod adds 16 more starting fleets to spice up your gameplay, please contact the mod maker on the Arcen discord if you wish to request a fleet to be added.
    • This particular mod requires both DLC1 and DLC2.

3.101 Buffs, Fixes, And Quickstarts

(Released June 7th, 2021)

  • Experimental change: When units go through wormholes, they spread out a bit rather then all just cramming together on the same spot. When the AI sends a large force through, it looks much better visually. For feedback.
    • Thanks to Badger for adjusting.

Balance

  • Adjusted ticket value for Artillery Golem and Cursed Golem to make the AI less likely to reach for them first when filling certain exostrike waves.
  • Grenade Launcher Turret
    • Mark 1 damage per target hit 1,650 -> 1,500
    • Reload time 8s -> 6s
    • Max Mark 1 DPS 1,856 -> 2,250
  • Blaster Turret (DLC1)
    • Mark 1 damage per target hit 1,200 -> 950
    • Now fires twice per reload instead of only once
    • Effective Mark 1 DPS 1,200 -> 1,900
  • AI Ion Cannons given a hefty set of buffs
    • 90% Damage reduction against anything attacking it from beyond 10,000 range.
    • 10% Vampirism healing based on the damage it is dealing.
    • It gains an extra shot per mark level. So a high mark Ion Cannon can be firing up to seven shots per second.
    • Base hull raised from 20,000 to 30,000.
    • Base shield raised from 40,000 to 90,000.
  • AI Orbital Mass Drivers buffed as well
    • Damage per shot raised from 6K to 15K. Your average frigate over a year ago was unlikely to get over a million health. With a 7.7x maximum over base instead of 4x... these days its a lot more common. Plus durability upgrades to golems and other officers have also exacerbated the issue of the previously scary damage not being that high anymore. So now against proper targets that Mass Driver will be hitting for one and a half million damage per shot.
    • Base health of hull and shield doubled. 50K -> 100K Hull and 100K -> 200K Shield. Peacemaker version health raised to old values.
    • Vanilla version now takes a minimum of 10 attacks to destroy. No attack can deal over 10% max health in one shot. Peacemaker version which is a lot more common for that particular AI instead has a minimum of 5 attacks taken to destroy.
  • Golems are now 50% less likely to lead Exogalactic Strikeforces, to hopefully allow Dire Guardians to shine in that role
    • Thanks to Badger for adjusting.

Text And Tooltip Work

  • Edited descriptions of Expatriate and Alien techs to make it clear that only ships under your command + outguards are affected, and not any other factions.
    • Thanks to Zweihand for making this change.
  • More unit tooltip work:
    • Fixed using the AddNumberTruncated() function for integers rounding down quickly, displaying something like "2k/3k" if there is only 2999 out of 3000. Now it instead calls the FInt variant if the integer is over 1000 (or below -1000), which changes this to "2,99k/3k"
    • Fixed only the last order being displayed instead of the first.
    • Fixed entities getting claimed always stating that the player is browning out - except for when they actually do.
    • Command station states (the AI blocking claims, or a planet requiring the player to control the planet first)
    • Behavior and Orders now only show on medium and full tooltips, and on full tooltips the first 3 will show instead of just one.
    • Slightly shortened the text for wormhole pathing when the next hop isn't the destination from "Go to [next hop], final target is [destination]" to "Go via [next hop] to [destination]" in order to shorten this.
    • Wormhole pathing with multiple hops is now shortened: It will no longer show each individual hop as a "go to -> towards" as specified above, and instead only show the first instance and then the total amount of hops to the destination.
      • Example: No longer "Go to Planet A, final target is Planet D, Go to Planet B, final target is Planet D, Go to Planet C, final target is Planet D + 1 more" but instead "Go to Planet A, final target is Planet D (4 hops)".
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for all this work!

Quick start rebuilds

  • Quick starts available within the base game (no DLC active) reported as broken by Badger.
    • The five scenarios within 1-Basic in the base game have been rebuilt. These are: Helping Hands and Scenario 1 - 4.
    • The three quick starts within the base game 2-Moderate have been refurbished. These include: A Tale of Two Stars, Security Alert, and Time Is Running Out.
    • All three choices within 3-Harder for the base game rebuilt. These are: Backdoor, Betrayed Hope, and Uprising.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for updating these. It makes them more efficient and small anyhow, and helps with future compatibility.
  • Fixed a regression in the prior version that was causing older quickstarts to not be loadable unless you had DLC1 installed, or sometimes also DLC2.
    • Essentially, some of these quickstarts were saved with those DLC enabled, which normally would be a failure state for loading the quickstart in general. However, our central code tries to maximize compatibility (and hassle on anyone creating and distributing a quickstart), so we normally are able to load those games in and strip out the DLC-related parts for purposes of actually starting a new game.
    • Because of some unrelated improvements in the prior version to make xml parsing give fewer errors if there is a typo, this wound up messing up the ability to load quickstarts that include non-enabled DLC or mods. It was less a traditional bug, and more of a... highly nondesirable reaction in a complicated system.
    • Anyhow, it's fixed now!
    • Thanks to Kayron, Bleak, and others for reporting.

Mod Updates

  • AMU:
    • Actually included the changed source code. This was forgotten in the last update.
    • Fixed the Destroyer base unit still being gated behind the DLC "3_The_Neinzul_Abyss", when it now is "4_The_Neinzul_Abyss"
  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • Now that faction fields can be overwritten got rid of the "true invasion time" and instead altered the default one.
    • Fixed being able to hack theoretically infinite amounts of turrets because it was not counting up the GCA-like and TDS-like hacks. Essentially after a few hacking changes I forgot to actually make them keep count.
  • Extended Ship Varaints:
    • Removed an unintentional 10 AIP from claiming all the support fleets. This unfortunately trickled down from changes within AMU.
    • Fixed some ships still being gated behind the DLC "3_The_Neinzul_Abyss", when it now is "4_The_Neinzul_Abyss"
    • Reduced the Metabolizing MLRS Corvette's damage bonus against enemies with low hull from 3x to 2x, since it also inherits the anti-strike craft bonus from the base MLRS Corvette.
  • Exotic Ships:
    • Increased the weapon range of the Immortal Cruiser and added a good number of tractor beams.
    • Fixed the Hammer Heads being called Thunder Bombs
    • Fixed the Hammer Heads and the actual Thunder Bombs being swappable fleet lines.

3.100 Commander Vision

(Released June 4th, 2021)

  • Zombie ping-pong reduction
    • The game now tracks how many times a unit has been zombified (or nanocausted). Each time after the first the new zombie will come back with 15% less health.
    • So the first time you zombify a unit, it has full health on resurrection. If the AI zombifies your zombie then it starts with 85% health. If you zombify it again then it will come back with 70% health, and so on.
    • Zombie ping pong is a neat mechanic, but if you can just play ping-pong forever it can be unfun, especially if there are two Nanocausts just trading fleets back and forth constantly.

Quality of Life

  • Added a new HUD Scale setting: Central Popup Text Scale
    • How large should the text inside of any center-screen popups be? This doesn't affect the size of the window itself, just the text inside it (so you have a lot less scrolling to do. Default is 0.9.
    • Thanks to a stephen dedalus and a variety of other folks for pointing out this oversight and requesting an option to adjust it. The default used to be 1, so this also makes it way less overwhelmingly large in general.
  • We have worked to shift from never specifying inline font sizes in pt format (<size=12pt> or whatever), but instead only to use percentages. This allows things like the font scale to be adjusted in the main text without some parts staying overly large or small.
    • If we've missed any places, then those won't react properly, and we'll need to hear about those bits to fix them. But so far the main things seem to work great.
  • Changed intensity tooltips for most base game factions (except Nanocaust). This gives a more useful clue as where to put intensities for minor factions.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.
  • Changed intensity tooltips for all DLC1 factions: Fallen Spire and Scourge.
    • This makes Fallen Spire much more clear as to how difficult it's supposed to be at a given skill level.
    • The description for the Extra-strong mode for Scourge has been reworked to incentive players to use it more.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.
  • Showing weapon activity details (if you have that on) now gives you more information in the tooltips on medium detail, not requiring full detail to be on.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for suggesting.
  • When you are hacking for a new ship line, it now shows the icon for the ship on each line item.
  • When you adjust the scaling of the central screen popups (by default it is now already adjusting to 90% of what it was before), it now properly adjusts any column-based data in things like ship details (those have some columns that also need to be scaled down properly, and since the entire window is not scaled down -- unlike the tooltips -- this had to be handled separately).
  • The "Open Chat Window" hotkey has been moved from the Sidebar section of controls to instead being under Critical, and has this updated description:
    • Opens the Chat and Message log window, which can be used in multiplayer or which is for seeing a log of certain kinds of messages in single-player. You can leave notes to yourself here if you really want to, as well.
  • There is now a new Multiplayer section of the controls window, and all of the things related to pings are now in there rather than being in Other UI.
  • There is a new "Switch To Controlling Next Human Faction" hotkey in the Multiplayer section of the controls menu, default-bound to F4.
    • Pressing this button will switch your control from the current human empire (or Champion or Necromancer or whatever) to the next one. This is useful to quickly help out allies in multiplayer, or if you want to play multiple factions by yourself (for instance, a regular human empire plus a champion).
    • Thanks to Badger for requesting. This is ludicrously useful.
  • Added a new abstract ArcenCharacterBufferBase class, which is now the base underlying both ArcenDoubleCharacterBuffer (commonly used) and ArcenCharacterBuffer (less commonly used).
    • This creates more standardization for how the two are used, and for the various handy extension methods that exist, those can all now extend ArcenCharacterBufferBase and be available to both classes. Similarly with any utility methods that previously only took a ArcenDoubleCharacterBuffer -- they can now work with both kinds of character buffer.
    • This provides some standardization (and in the case of the double buffer class, we now directly support Int64 and UInt32 formats, which we previously did not), and makes certain types of extensions a lot easier to do for the future with tooltips and such.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for inspiring this change.

Major Unit Tooltip Improvements

  • All of the units in the game now create text-embeddable sprites for their normal GUI sprites. This means that we're able to include them, with full colors and overlays and all that, in text in arbitrary ways -- at long last!
    • For now, this means that now in the unit tooltips, in the upper left corner you now see the icon and color of the unit that you are looking at. Depending on your scale of various things, this is probably the largest it is ever shown anywhere in the game, actually.
    • As part of this change, the place where the metal cost is shown on tooltips (outside of the build menu) has moved from the top row to be down after the mass of ships, right under energy cost. This is only shown in the full tooltip, not medium or short.
  • The tooltips are all now 10% wider, to make things wrap just a bit less, and have a bit more room for things.
  • A fairly large addition has been made that lets us use a "fake entity" for the build menu tooltips (internally) to give more accurate build information (basically: considering any fleet buffs properly) for ships you are planning to have.
  • Fully integrated NR SirLimbo's pretty mega-awesome much-more-readable upper tooltip rework. This basically replaces the first few lines of the tooltips for ships with something that is a lot more informative and concise, and it pulls out a few bits of data that had been scattered down below in the big blob of unformatted text stuff.
    • This is by no means yet a full tooltip rework, but this is a very solid chunk of one. This was a major undertaking by NR SirLimbo, and the work on this really improves readability and usefulness of tooltips to a degree that is even more notable in context as you play -- screenshots alone don't do it justice.
    • This has a bunch of new formatting consistencies, as well as improved abbreviations, among a host of other things. It's also just frankly better organized.
  • Work towards overhauling tooltips:
    • Created a few more rounding and percentage-focused methods in the FInt class.
    • Created a lot of extensions to the ArcenCharacterBufferBase to more easily format tooltips.
      • Both of these were in AMU for now, but have been put into the AIW2 codebase.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for these changes.

Tooltip Responsiveness And Delays In General

  • There is now a new Tips subsection of the Game tab in the settings menu.
    • There's also a new Accident Prevention subsection of this tab, for purposes of things like the tech upgrade prompt (and later other things if we want.
  • There is now a new Tooltips subsection of the Game tab in the settings menu.
    • The items from the Tooltips subsection of Display have moved there, because this is more about behavior than something like HUD size, etc.
  • The maximum number of autosaves you can configure the game to track is now 200, rather than 50. Some folks have been asking for this for a while.
  • New setting in the tooltip section of the game settings tab: Main View Tooltip Delay
    • When you are moving your mouse around the main view, how long should it wait before it shows a tooltip for the planet or unit or wormhole you are hovering over? Default is no delay.
    • It is worth noting that this setting does not affect UI elements, by design. Being able to control those separately is nice.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage and many others for suggesting this.
  • Adjusted things on the galaxy map so that they are more properly reactive to when you STOP hovering over something, thus leading to the tooltips feeling more responsive in general. The degree to which this feels improved, even with no changes to the tooltip delay, is really palpable.
  • Now the planet view also has the same responsiveness to hovering over units and wormholes and such. This feels really really nice.
  • Improved the way that tooltips disappear, throughout the program, so that it now feels more responsive all over the place. Initially this was something that seemed like it might take an entire recode of how some of our tooltips are triggered (it's majorly complicated in that it comes from three separate coordinate systems, raycasts that have to be run only on certain non-display-frame physics cycles, coordinate checks that are run on normal display frames, and so on; modern games are horrifying in their complexity sometimes, but a lot of that comes down to the move to multithreading as well as to hooking into systems like PhysX for standard things like determining what UI element your mouse is over, and things like that. It adds a lot of capabilities, but 10 years ago this was not really how we would have set things up, so it's been an adjustment).

Tooltip Snapping And Position

  • A new tooltip variant that is a bit less wide than the new default wide tooltip is now implemented. This one prefers to move to the right or left of the screen depending on your mouse cursor, and prefers being a bit lower than the thing you are hovering rather than being above it, too.
    • The general idea with this is that it still keeps the tooltip kinda-sorta close to the mouse cursor, but distinctly out of the way when you are looking through lists of things in particular. This is most notably needed for things like setup screens, where the tooltips could be frustratingly in the way before. As part of implementing this, initially things were frustratingly out of the way and off to the side, so this is a nice compromise that keeps your eyes from having to move too far without you actually having things obscured.
    • Thanks to LOTS of players for requesting this. Please note that we have to switch to this new tooltip style on each window that would use it, so if you see places that we should be using it and are not, or places where we turned to this style but it would be best to use one of the others, please let us know.
  • New snapping tooltip now on for the following windows:
    • Faction tab in lobby and faction window in escape menu.
    • Map tab in lobby.
    • Galaxy options in lobby and in escape menu.
    • Profile list.
    • Main menu.
    • Escape menu.
    • Load and save windows.
    • Quickstart and tutorial start windows.
    • Personal settings window, and controls bindings window.
    • Tips window (main menu, not the tips sidebar).
    • Note that pretty much everything to do with the sidebars is NOT using this, and a lot of things related to popups of list options also do not use this.
  • Thanks here again to Strategic Sage in particular for bringing up this general issue. It was bugging all of us, though.

Sidebar Tips

  • There is a new is_for_the_tips_tab="true" flag available for putting on journal entries that are actually for being a tip, rather than being lore or other information of that sort.
  • Fixed the "Element 0 was null! In PopupScrollingTwoColumnButtonList" error that was harmlessly in the log for the last few versions.
  • The header on the hacking sidebar is now "hack targets at planet" rather than "hack the enemy."
  • All of the tips-style journal entries are now moved out into their own separate tab on the sidebar.
    • This tab can be activated with the hotkey F1, which is the old-style windows help hotkey.
    • F1 was being used for "ping mode" in multiplayer, but that has been reassigned to F3.
    • Overall the goal of the tips tab is to make it way more obvious when there are gameplay tips, AND to separate that out from the lore, campaign event info, and other such things.
  • The journal tab is no longer green on the far left, and if it has some entries that are unread those are now shown with a pale greenish-blue number rather than bright red.
    • The tips tab also shows as white normally, but if there are any unread tips it now does a flashing color-shifting thing to make itself super noticeable.
  • On the tips tab, we are not showing the timestamp directly, as it's not as relevant. You can still see it in the mouseover.
    • Additionally, the tip text itself is larger in that tab.
  • Thanks to Strategic Sage for suggesting this, after lots of discussion with various players.
  • The tip sidebar entries no longer start with "Tip" or "Tips", since those are all now tips.
    • A number of them have been reworked a bit in terms of the title that is shown on the sidebar, and they all have different colored prefixes that indicate the type of tip. These range from:
      • Advice is specific strategic advice based on your current circumstances (hey, your stuff keeps dying, maybe upgrade it; hey we found a specific thing you should hack, etc).
      • Concept is advice that is more fundamental, and may be specific to your circumstances but also is very broadly applicable to every game in some fashion. (Pay attention to AIP, use transports, here's what to do with the citadel you just got, etc).
      • Hack is advice when you generally encounter a thing you can hack to get something good (The ARS is a thing, the TSS is a thing, etc).
      • Capture is advice when you generally encounter a good thing that you can capture to use (here's a fleet, there's a citadel, etc).
      • Enemy is advice for when you run into a particularly troublesome unit that might require attention (watch out for that Raid Engine, the Overlord Phase 2 is tricky, AI Eyes are not to be overlooked, etc).
      • Info is advice that is not critical, but the sort of thing that people frequently wish they know (hey there are automation settings, did you know you can watch fleets on the sidebar, did you know you can queue unload orders, etc).
  • When tips are added to the sidebar, there is now a center-screen banner that pops up letting you know this for 3 seconds. It makes it a lot harder to miss, especially because this is paired with the chat message which now says "New Tip" rather than "New Journal Entry." The fact that tips were journal entries was definitely hugely confusing.
    • There is a new setting in the Game tab that allows you to turn off the central banners if you don't like them.

Balance

  • For performance reasons, the following units are no longer allowed to spawn in waves (or as part of a hacking response, exo, etc):
    • Tractor Guardian
    • Dire Paralysis Guardian
    • Persuader
    • Pulsar Punk
    • Etherjet
    • Thief
    • Thanks to swizzlewizzle for reporting.
  • Added forced_to_bail_out_on_cripple_any="true" and forced_to_bail_out_on_cripple_deepstrike_only="true" as options for designs on flagships.
    • When crippled, will use bail-out function to a friendly planet. Or alternatively, only when in deepstrike territory.
    • The deepstrike territory version is now applied to the Retribution Golem (DLC2).
    • The tooltip for these units informs you of this aspect of their function.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for requesting this feature.
  • Nerf to corruption minefield's acid effect. Acid now caps at 105 at mark 7 (from 200)
    • Thanks for CRCGamer and Zwei for pointing out how effective these were
  • Updated the AI MLRS guardian and dire guardian variants to use the same damage bonuses the MLRS Corvette received a while ago. This means instead of having 4x damage bonus against things below 30% health they instead have an always on 1.5x versus things without shields and an additional 2x versus anything below half health.
  • Gave Combat Factory a more applicable niche in being the fastest moving support factory. While it may not have the same level of utility as other factories it can keep up with fleets far more effectively.
    • Combat Factory speed 800 -> 1400
  • The game now seeds a 3 cruiser construction facilities per galaxy, rather than 2. This should help them have more impact. (DLC2)
    • Thanks to Zeus, Metretek, crawlers, and others for suggesting.
  • Added a new grants_stuff_to_be_added_to_player_fleets_remove_overlapping_techs="true" tag, which can be used for things like the Cruiser Construction Facility.
    • It is important to understand that while this will work any ARS-style hacking granter, it will not do a good job if you don't apply this only to units that can only be hacked once.
    • In other words, if you use this on an ARS, which can be hacked 3 times, it would not work for any hacks beyond the first.
    • This is now applied to the Cruiser Construction facilities, and seems to work well. Essentially it means that no two cruisers in the galaxy should share the same tech. This has very narrow applications as an xml attribute, but for both cruisers and destroyers if they all follow that single-tech path, that will handle it.
    • Thanks to Zeus for requesting.

ZA Balance Changes

  • ZA at all intensities has access to more defenses per mark of its portal/spawner. The amount per mark scales with difficulty where it was previously flat. This should be noticeable at 5+ and at 10 its more than triple what it used to be
    • Furthermore, the ZA has a larger metal income for defenses scaling with intensity, so it will rebuild faster
  • Civil war now requires more territory for higher intensities. This means that it will take longer for a civil war to occur but higher intensities will be expanding more quickly so this should compensate for this. The aim here is to make the ZA more expansionistic but give players more agency in curbing its expansion beyond its base territory.
  • ZA has more metal reserves, scaling across intensities. This means the ZA will be able to field a larger defensive response from the get-go even when its at peace
  • ZA Spawners warp in faster across the board, scaling with intensity. They were taking forever to warp in, even at 10
  • ZA Quiesce now lasts 45 minutes instead of 15. This hack was widely viewed as a waste compared to the others. Hopefully, the extended break will allow for more interesting decision making, such as a late-game strategy to get an otherwise inaccessible map control

Art

  • Created a number of new shaders for things like triplanar projection in a few different styles.
    • Also fixed a few shaders that, over the past few months, lost their rotational component because I saved over them, not remembering that they had custom code that Amplify Shader Editor couldn't detect or keep.
  • Improved the Tempest Cruiser LODs so that it shows nicer detail longer, but then goes lower-poly faster after certain zoom (DLC2).
  • Added unique art for the Trailblazer Cruiser and Trailblazer Barge (DLC2).
  • Added unique art for the Dark Mirror strikecraft and Darker Mirror frigate (DLC2).

Bugfixes

  • Custom fields on factions are now something that you can add to via partial record definitions in mods or DLC. This means that you wind up adding in an entry or two to a set of options, for example, versus completely replacing the entire list.
    • This is now being used for the Scourge in DLC2, to add the Zenith first armory option without having a duplication of the First Armory field.
  • Added one small correction to the destroyp cheat code.
    • Also added a new destroycurrentp cheat code, which destroys the planet the issuing player is currently looking at.
  • Fixed an issue where the ZA Castra (in DLC2) could not properly be hacked to get ships out of it in recent versions.
    • Thanks to Darkshade for reporting.
  • Fixed a longstanding minor issue in the settings menu where the count of expansions incorrectly included non-installed expansions as being enabled. Now it properly only counts them if they are both installed and enabled.
    • This has no material effect except the count in the sidebar of the settings window.
  • Fix a bug where external invulnerability was not working for units trying to use tags. It did work correctly for non-tag invulnerability like Dire Guard Posts protecting Overlords.
    • The affected units are the Spire Buttresses, Zenith Architrave Spawners, and lots of Scourge Thoraxian Hybrid types. This is a buff to the scourge.
    • Reported by a large number of people
  • Fixed up the TagsDict on units so that it is null before initial fill. This way, if something tries to call it prior to it being filled, we'll get an error and know about it.
    • Also updated this to be filled sooner rather than later, so that things like invulnerability granter checks can use it, plus anything else we would have in ComputeBalanceStats_OneTimeOnly. There were a couple of other less-critical things using that.
    • Thanks to Badger for discovering the core of this problem.
  • Removed the auto-on for vertex-animated phasing for most ships by type, since the effect was subtle to begin with, and also tended to bug out on random units and hunting those down was not going to be a fun game of whack a mole. Unless you zoom in really close and stare at phased units, this matters zero in the first place (other than when it's bugging out on a specific model), so this was definitely not a worthwhile way to spend time.
    • Thanks to Bummeri and Darkshade for reporting.
  • Fixed a longstanding bug in multiplayer where marking journal entries (or now tips) as being Read would not properly save for clients, and was also shared among all players (not ideal).
    • It now is properly different for each player in the campaign, and each one gets properly saved individually, as well.
    • In existing savegames, any that the host had marked as viewed are now marked as viewed for everyone; and in single-player, this has no impact at all.
  • Fixed a bug where if your science was some five-digit number -- for example exactly 20,200 -- then it would sometimes cause it to wrap in the top bar.
    • Thanks to General Frost for reporting.
  • Fixed a funky visual error that could happen when ships were in the process of dying or getting into transports where they could appear in the opposite quadrant of the gravity well from their current one for just a moment or two. This was more evident at some framerates, from what we could tell, but we were able to duplicate it.
    • Thanks to General Frost for reporting.
  • If you have an xml error of some sort, then it no longer spams a bunch of further errors about unrequested attributes. Those secondary errors could make it really hard to actually read what was happening.
    • Similarly, it no longer runs DumpBalanceStatsToCSV() if it had an error during parsing of xml. This was only one error line rather than hundreds, but it was still one too many.
    • When the code is set up incorrectly to try to load a non-enum as an enum, it now also gives a more clear error message to the programmer.
    • Also also, when Xml is unable to be parsed in a more limited way (aka a specific field is not read properly) it no longer throws an exception that causes a cascade of other errors. The cascade will now only happen in a more limited fashion if something was relying on that malformed data in a really specific way (there aren't too many fields like that, but there are some). This dramatically cuts down on the number of error cascades as well.
    • Thanks to Badger and Zeus in particular for requesting this sort of update. This should save time for all of us when there are xml typos.
  • If an ARS or similar has too many lines, then remove the extras now.
  • In the event that you somehow have two centerpieces for a fleet (for instance, from hacking to get a new kind and the old one is still there), it now self repairs by deleting the extra unit (the old one), and leaving a little note in the log.
    • Thanks to firespier for reporting.
  • Added a new "must_be_at_most_x" that defaults to 20 on factions. This means no more than 20 copies of a given faction in a game, though that can be customized.
    • For the AI sentinels, there is must_be_at_most_x="10", however.
    • Additionally, if more than 200 internal factions are to be added in general, it will now stop the player from adding any further ones. Beyond 255, they are unable to be saved properly into savegames, and performance would be just horrible in general.
    • Thanks to Setsuna for pushing the limits of what was possible and making us realize where we needed to put some limits.

Technical Additions

  • Added a new immune_to_all_damage_from_players_invisibly="true" xml flag that is applied to the ARS and similar and the TSS and ODSS, and things like the Cruiser Construction Facility.
    • That makes these completely unable to be targeted by players even when they are owned by enemy factions. These are not hostile structures, and are not meant to ever be attacked by the player (the player loses out on something if they do).
    • Thanks to Democracy and Zweihander2021 for reporting.
  • Added a new always_counts_as_zero_strength_including_any_contents="true" xml flag that is applied to the ARS and similar and the TSS and ODSS, and things like the Cruiser Construction Facility.
    • This might be something we need to put on other structures as well, to keep the AI from looking like it has more strength than it does when there's just some harmless goodies left behind.
    • Thanks to Zweihander2021 for reporting.
  • Added new faction xml for auto_add_one_of_faction_when_other_faction_present="OtherFactionName"
    • This is much more flexible than auto_add_one_of_faction_if_missing_on_save_load="true", which would instead be turning on factions in saves that really don't need them.
  • Added new faction xml that is auto_remove_faction_on_lobby_load_and_mapgen_when_other_faction_present="OtherFactionName"
    • This should largely be on the exact same factions as are auto-added. This cleans things out from quickstarts, last-settings, and "I added the faction for a bit in the lobby, then removed it" situations.
  • Tamed Macrophage now use both of the above flags in relation to the normal macrophage.
    • Same with Enraged Macrophage. They have both just been in every game, silent and useless, until now.

Mod Updates

  • Updated Spire Railgun Shop so that it's Spire ships are more in-line with the newly buffed maingame one. (Lord of Nothing)

3.006 Rising Spire

(Released May 31st, 2021)

  • Updated all of the asset bundles that the game uses to properly support OpenGL on OSX. This was an oversight in the prior release that caused the OpenGL OSX version to still not work properly.
    • Thanks to abjohnsonzz, MM12, and Lictuel for reporting.
  • Added warning text that you can only build 1 of each of the special drone station keepers (DLC2) on a planet regardless of how many you have hacked for.
    • Thanks to Zweihand for adding.

Balance Updates

  • Adjusted lifetime of anti-player Zombies to be 25 minutes instead of an hour and forty minutes.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for updating.
  • Adjusted Combat Factory drone allotment. At mark seven the estimated strength rating of the combined drones is 9 instead of 4.8 at full counts.
    • V-Wing Drones count is now 25, up from 20.
    • Bomber Drones count is now 25, up from 20.
    • Added 20 count of MLRS Drones.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for updating.
  • Cost nerf to Bulwark Turrets. If you insist on spam rebuilding them its going to cost your metal balance a lot more now. Construction cost raised from 30K to 90K each.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for updating.
  • AI Golems buffs:
    • Base game: Health increased to 4x health and 4x damage from 2x health and 3.6x damage, with 1x being Mark I stats for player golems. This makes them effectively Mark VI player golems for most intend and purpose.
      • AI Cost for all golems increased by 50%.
    • DLC2: Health increased to 6x health and 6x damage compared to above, as player golems and lone wolf scales better in DLC2. This makes them effectively Mark VI player-golems (in DL2) for most intends and purposes. Most AI golems don't have updated weapons that player gets in DLC2, so enjoy that while it last.
      • AI Cost for all golems increased by 33% of base-game increased cost.
    • Do remember AI golems don't get FRS-buffs or hack-buffs. This means the player still gets significantly better golems if you're willing to invest in them. For both base game and DLC2.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.
  • Adjusted the AI Raijin and Retribution golems to follow the same stat rules Arnaud applied to other AI golems. Word of advice, don't let the AI Retribution run away it will have full health no matter what in 20 minutes.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for updating.

Fallen Spire (DLC1) Buffs

  • Fallen Spire ships buffs
    • Increased speed of all spire ships to 1000 (not AI ones)
    • Increased damage and health of all spire ships by 20%
  • All non-AI spire ships gain 25% health and damage, speed increased from 600 to 1000.
    • This should make them more useful as they felt "weak". They didn't have a buff since FRS changes and buffing hacks for golems and arks.
  • Spire Shipyard production output increased from 2000+1000 per mark to 5000+2500 per mark. It felt a bit silly to have them be exactly as efficient as human factories... which you get multiple of per planets.
    • This should make it much easier to rebuild spire fleets without engineers spam. Especially with 5+ spire cities.
  • Spire Reactor health doubled. Since it can't mark up, it falls behind others buildings.
  • Spire Great Shield energy cost reduced from 2m energy to 1m. Hull increased from 400k to 4m.
    • It wasn't updated in a long time. It doesn't mark up and don't have the enormous stats increase of forcefields, so a buff was fine.
  • Spire Lesser and greater Spy Cradle energy cost reduced to 500k from 2m.
    • A logistical station with hack boost was much, much more cost-efficient. Now it's more useful.
  • Spire Buttress health doubled and socket needed reduced from 2 to 1. It already cost 2m energy. It was wayyy too expensive.
    • Now also gains Beam and Laser Lulse weapons that others Spire buildings have.
  • Spire transceiver health increased to 4m hull and 4m shield, from 900k and 400k. It clashed with others spire buildings for little reason.
    • Now also gains Beam and Laser Lulse weapons that others Spire buildings have.

Various changes to Spire defensive options, so they're actually useful rather than depressingly weak.

  • Spire Plasma Driver replaced by Spire Beam Cannon.
    • Metal cost decreased to 500k from 1,5m. Energy cost increased from 150k to 500k.
    • It fires 2+ 1/mark beams with 10x damage against 5+ tx. This makes it significantly more powerful.
  • Lesser and Greater Spire Fortresses changes
    • Beams weapons replaced with a similar version to the Spire Beam Cannon, with bonus 10x bonus dmg against 5+ tx. Come with increased shot per mark and the same planetary range that Spire Beam Cannon has.
    • Energy wave weapon now has 48+24/mark shots instead of 24+4. Greater has 96+48/mark.
    • Laser Pulse weapon now has 60+30/mark shots instead of 40+0. Greater has 120+60/mark.
    • Greater Spire Fortress now takes 3 slots instead of 4. Even with buffed stats, it wasn't worthwhile over the lesser fortress. Now it's a significant buff.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating all of these!

Fixes

  • Reworked portions of the Outguard code
    • Can now specify a new tag on an Outguard group to make it not be randomly seeded
      • can_be_randomly_seeded
    • Can now contact any Outguard group by calling a new function
      • Should only be used by other factions that wish to enable an Outguard group related to themselves, Beacon logic is more complicated and nuanced
      • SpecialFaction_Mercenary.ContactOutguardGroup_NonBeaconSource
    • Fixed a few bugs related to the 'spawn beacon on homeworld' debug option
    • Allow Outguard groups to not scale with AIP cleanly.
    • Allow other factions to modify the number of times Outguard groups can be summoned
    • Thanks to StarKelp for implementing!
  • Fixed typo in difficulty description
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for fixing.
  • Hackbot now has the proper function to target only mobile targets.
    • Thank to Limbo for finding the function, and ArnaudB for fixing!
  • Adjusted a tag on the no longer allowed to seed original Frenzy Golem (DLC2) that should resolve an issue where it could not be claimed it games it was already seeded in previously before the changes.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for fixing.

3.005 Radeon Returns

(Released May 29th, 2021)

  • OpenGL support, which we removed from Mac OSX a few months ago on our beta branch, has been returned.
    • In almost all circumstances, you should not use this -- Metal will perform better, is more modern, is a better use of RAM, etc.
    • However, because of driver issues with Radeon cards on OSX, at the moment OpenGL will be needed for compatibility purposes with that specific hardware combo.
    • Please note that, from now on, Metal is used by default, or you can force it to be used by adding -force-metal at the command line. To use OpenGL, you can add -force-glcore to do that. There are of course also start options in GOG and on Steam for making this happen without you having to fiddle with the command line.
    • Thanks to abjohnsonzz, MM12, slake-moth, Lictuel, xaid, congorilla, and deltadawgs for reporting.

QoL Improvements

  • Added a new "Main Menu Hangar Scene Self-Disables At" that now defaults to 25 rather than 35, and can be adjusted all the way down to 5 if you really want.
    • If the main menu hangar scene is causing performance below this FPS level, then it will turn itself off.
    • Thanks to nas1m for suggesting.
  • The "no intel" camera effect now defaults to once again being on.
  • When subcategories have advanced fields in the settings menu, it now mentions the count for those under each subcategory that is shown.
  • The settings menu now tells you how many advanced fields are hidden in any given subcategory that you can see, if there are any such fields. It makes it faster to notice that and to be able to click them.
    • This has also now been done for the galaxy options tab in the lobby, and in the game once you are in play. Again this helps with discoverability of specific advanced options.
  • A handful of overly-handy debug functions in the personal settings menu have been made non-advanced, so you can click to that tab more easily and then see those and expand to the rest if need be.

Bugfixes

  • Previously it was possible on the settings and galaxy options screens for the "X advanced fields" warning to be below the scrollable area and cut off. Fixed.
  • Previously, Battlestations and Citadels were not allowed to use transport mode or pause construction of their interplanetary engineers. However, there was a slight bit of transport mode that would work, where if it was put into the mode, the engineers could get stuck in there.
    • These now fully support transport mode, in the same way that support fleets (combat factories) do. It's pretty much just for interplanetary engineers right now, but if we ever added some drones or similar, then this would also be equally useful for battlestations/citadels of that sort.
    • Thanks to Zweihander2021 and Metrekec for reporting.
  • Summoning the Zenith Trader outguard (new in DLC2) previously did not actually have them with their wares for sale until you saved and reloaded the game. Fixed.
    • Additionally, in either DLC2 or the base game, the Zenith Trader wares should now always say "Zenith Trader" in the build sidebar, whereas that was not always the case before.
    • Thanks to Zeus and other for reporting.
  • If a hack cannot be done on a unit because it has already been done the maximum number of times, it now says how many times that is.
    • Fixed a bug that followed from this where we could see that the maximum number of times that the Zenith Architrave Portal (DLC2) was allowed to be hacked was zero instead of one. It can thus now be hacked properly.
    • Thanks to Darkshade and Apthorpe for reporting.
  • When you have not yet claimed a unit, it now shows their max health and max shields in the tooltip.
    • Additionally, if you have not yet claimed a unit, or if you have the full tooltip open for ANY unit, it now shows their metal cost (useful info for metabolization and other purposes).
    • When you have not yet claimed a unit, it also now still shows you what techs upgrade that unit; this mostly applies to citadels or golems or other standalones, since anything you could hack for already showed it.
    • Thanks to Smidlee and Metrekec for suggesting.
  • Fixed a kind-sorta memory leak where ships that had ship-to-ship lines (like engineers repairing things) would wind up with essentially unlimited extra references to the same line, adding 10 per second as they went. This wasn't a memory leak of the lines themselves, but of references to the lines, but even so this is the sort of thing that would lead to a simulation slowdown over time.
    • This would affect beam weapons, tractor beams, engineers, claiming of units, chain lightning, and a variety of other things.
    • Alongside this performance degradation, most likely this was related to why sometimes certain beams could be left behind until you tabbed to the galaxy map and back. Those were an annoying fleeting visual artifact, but not a true leak since they get cleaned up. If you still see those happening, then please let us know, and we'll also keep an eye out. The one that was eating performance is at least dead.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting the climbing line counts in the debug view of ship tooltips, as this would otherwise be hard to notice, as the central line counts were correct.
  • Self-Hacks for hull, shield and damage can now be done by lone wolf officer fleets. This fixes some Lone Wolf centerpieces being unable to self-hack their own stats without another viable hacker (i.e. a Transport) present.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for fixing.
  • Fixed a typo in makeshift turret's description, where it stated "spawns drones if present enemies" instead of "if enemies are present"
    • fixed typo where zenith miner increasing gravity stated an increase in ship speed, when it should be decreasing
    • Fixed typo in scourge builder, where solely was sorely.
    • fixed a typo where the bomber drone was written as V-wing drone
    • Thanks to Zweihand for fixing all of these.

Mod Updates

  • AMU:
    • Fireteam logic updates (in the hopes of not breaking anything):
      • Fireteams now when assigning and targeting should respect only going after a specific faction. This both highly experimental and entirely untested.
      • Units now do 3 checks when trying to assign themselves to a team: First it'll check for teams on their current planet that need more ships to activate. Then they'll check for teams on their current planets even if they are activated. Then they check for everything.
        • This should improve teams going online and becoming sooner, and avoid them pathing before joining teams if at all possible.
        • The mechanic existed, but was only unreliably enforced and for the most part the weighting on fireteams to join took care of this - but now there is some more strict rules in place.
      • Additionally the fireteam assignment method has more debug printouts and is easier to follow.
      • Also, Fireteam targeting can now be set to not attack or not defend, based on preference.
  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • Recompiled the code against the most recent version of AIW2 because of some people seemingly getting Missing Method Exceptions.
    • Fixed 2 "Fireteam Content Trace" settings existing. One now correctly names itself "Fireteam Individual Content Trace".
      • Thanks to Magiik for reporting.
    • Reworked the Defector logic:
      • Defectors can no longer spawn as part of invasions.
      • Raiders can now become defectors even on planets the player has no command station on, and the player and their allies no longer need superiority on the potential defector's planet for this to occur.
      • The chance for a raider to become a defector they calculate the "pressure" on them in a radius of 3 hops. The more strength (for the planet the defector is on this includes planet-bound strength, otherwise mobile only) the player(s) and their allies have over the Marauders and their allies, the more likely.
      • Additioally a planet the player controls must be within these 3 hops.
      • The hacking description has been updated slightly, and the evacuation hack has been updated to no longer (incorrectly) state that it's random, as it allows the player to choose the ship line hacked, as well as specifically note that upon hacking a type of Raider that type will never again be able to become a defector.
      • Additionally Raider Arks can now be hacked: The Seeker variant can gain improved weapon damage and hull health, the Carrier improved hull and shield health and the Blaster variant improved weapon damage and shield health.
      • Raider Arks are now visible on the galaxy map.
    • Kaizers Marauders now gain +0.04 ship tech level per intensity for each Cruiser and Destroyer Construction Facility on any of the planets they own.
    • Kaizer's Death Cannon no longer can target only entities with 700k or more health, and the player variants once again have the damage bonus upon Kaizer having low health.

3.004 Post Processing Options

(Released May 28th, 2021)

  • Improve fireteam escort support
    • For StarKelp for DLC3 work.

Balance

  • Alright so this is something of a more significant change. First off this will only apply to new games created after this patch. I cannot change the already existing Frenzy Golem without potentially breaking existing saved games so that version still exists for those saves. Old version will no longer be seeded. Instead the replacement Lonewolf version of the Frenzy Golem can occasionally grace newly created games.
    • Lonewolf version costs 30 AIP to capture instead of the previous 20.
    • New version caps out at 78.75m health instead of 47.25m. And doesn't require a Tutelar Pulsar Tank to do so.
    • Wrath Lance is usable from 40% missing health instead of 60% missing.
    • Wrath Lance base damage 5000 instead of 12000, but gets 3x damage bonus against targets closer than 6000.
    • Wrath Lance range is 12000 instead of 8080.
    • Vampirism healing rate is 10% of damage dealt instead of 5%.
    • Zenith Raging Shotgun base damage raised from 2000 to 2500.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for adjusting.
  • Improved the shields of all Riot Cruisers a bit. But with a larger bonus to the Bastille version which is reliant on its shield for its unique bonus.
  • Bastille Cruiser given a few extra shots per salvo on its main weapon.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for adjusting.

Bugfixes

  • Remove some leftover debugging code
    • Reported by Oval
  • Fix some ZA civil war bugs where they would spawn an impossibly large number of ships
    • Reported by a number of people, but particular thanks to Magiik for astute observation
  • Fix a bug where the nanocaust could spawn on dead planets (leading to them not doing very much)
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for reporting
  • During hacking or other AIP reductions, the AIP floor message is no longer sent if you're not actually at the floor
    • Thanks Pladdicus for reporting!
  • Fixed a slew of tip-related typos reported by LaGrange on Mantis (and made a few adjustments of my own).
    • Thanks to Tzarro for fixing.
  • Some typos dealing with the Strikecraft Hangars were slain.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for fixing.
  • Fixed a bunch of typos
    • Thanks to LaGrange for reporting and Dominus for fixing.
  • Fixes occasional null reference from the Two Column Button List prefab
    • Thanks Badger for reporting, and Dominus for fixing.
  • Updated description to include nanocaust allies as the presence of the nanocaust but without any mention in the description caused confusion as to whether or not they are friendly.
    • Thanks to Zweihand for updating.

Color Grading And Visual Updates

  • The main menu cutscene has been updated to have a better color glow to the landing strip lights, and for the arcen logo to be more natural in how it is inset in the scene. The light on the left wall is also a bit nicer.
  • The initial loading screen looks nicer, has more interesting bloom effects, and is no longer has banding in it.
    • This is largely thanks to Beautify 2, which we are now using to make everything look sharper and nicer in general.
  • Overall the game has a bit richer contrast and sharpness and brightness thanks to Beautify 2.
  • We are no longer using the "convert to LDR" camera and post processing effect prior to our gui camera, since we can now do the sam ething with Beautify 2 and get a prettier result for less CPU/GPU cost.
  • Removed one layer of color grading that was washing out... most everything. It made a lot of the final ships, especially for DLC2, look way less nice than they did in our in-engine setup tests, which had been quite confusing. But this also was washing out planets in the base game, all sorts of ships, etc. It just generally made things look worse.
  • Added a new "Twentieths" rounding option for settings that are floats (in addition to the existing Tenths). This lets you have ticks between things like 0.4, 0.45, 0.5, etc, versus just 0.4 and 0.5.
    • For some reason this doesn't work yet, and chasing through the code we can't figure it out yet. Oh well, it's not a crisis for now.
  • Fixed an issue where horizontal sliders in settings windows did not go all the way to the right when they were full. This was just a visual thing, but it was mildly confusing at best.
  • The font over wormholes, in planet view, has been improved to Audiowide instead of Orbiton Black. Additionally, it no longer has the white background around the letters.
    • This is a lot more attractive, but there may be some cases where readability is lower than before because of team colors being similar to the background color. The general sentiment of most folks who have weighed in was that they prefer to occasionally have slight trouble with color blending versus the awful white outline all the time. Do let us know if it's a problem, though!
  • The two settings "Galaxy Map: Hide Background Hexagons" and "Galaxy Map: Bloom Intensity" have been moved to the "Fullscreen Effects (Post-Processing)" subcategory, out of the "Color Grading" subcategory.
    • In general, we are going to allow a lot more control over the post-processing effects that are used, so this makes sense to collect them all now.
    • Also, for the sake of not using inverted language ("hide is on, so thing is turned off" -- what?), we have change "Galaxy Map: Hide Background Hexagons" to being "Galaxy Map: Show Background Hexagons" and defaulting to on, rather than the other way around.
  • Added a new "Galaxy Map: Bloom Effect" that allows you to completely turn off bloom on the galaxy map if you want (or if you have problems with it).
  • Added a new "Planet View: Bloom Intensity" and "Planet View: Bloom Effect" that allows you turn adjust bloom during battles or turn it off.
    • Turning it off would be something that would be a good idea for those OSX Radeon hardware combinations to try, as that might be what is causing the crazy fullscreen glitch effects for that one hardware/OS combo.
  • Added a new "Anti-Aliasing" subcategory on the display menu, which allows players to adjust these effects for the first time.
    • In this subcategory, there are now settings for disabling FXAA on either the planet view or the galaxy map, or both, as you wish.
    • Turning this off would be something to experiment with for thos OSX Radeon users who are having strange artifacts, but it seems very unlikely that these are the culprit.
    • Beyond that, turning these off would just be for folks who prefer brighter stars in the background, or who find that it is taxing their CPU/GPU more than they want (probably a below-spec machine if that's the case, or an extremely high 4K+ screen resolution in combination with midrange hardware).
  • Added a new "Draw Main Menu Hangar Scene" setting to the Visual Load section of the Performance tab.
    • This main menu scene is actually one of the most visually-taxing in the entire game. If your machine is below-spec or otherwise struggling to keep up, then disabling this can make your main menu experience much more pleasant. Please note that if your computer is failing to maintain 35fps on the main menu for 4 seconds, it will automatically disable this for you and will not re-enable it until you reload the game.
    • That auto-disabling feature is also new.
  • There are now settings under post-processing in the display settings that let you turn off bloom or color grading on the victory and loss screens. Should only be done if you specifically have a problem.
    • These are under advanced settings, since it's not super common to need it.
  • There are now settings under post-processing in the display settings that let you turn off GUI Glow effects (a form of bloom), as well as turning off the newly-added Beautify 2 if you would like to.
    • With these, it is now possible to disable every form of post-processing effect that the game has (minus a few things that should be truly harmless, like the HSV adjuster that lets you adjust the saturation of the game in the color grading section).
    • For users who are having visual artifacts with AMD Radeon cards on OSX Metal, disabling some combination of this (probably either the UI Glow or else Planet View Bloom or both) should now be a workaround to the problem. No other OSes or hardware combos have problems with this to our knowledge.

Nebula Background Upgrades

  • There was a strange effect happening with our starfields on some of the planets and the galaxy map when FXAA in particular was turned off, but it was still there but more subtle even with it on.
    • Essentially, all of the stars in the starfields would seem to jump around rapidly and insanely, on our skyboxes that are not of the traditional sort (using our custom nebula shader). It turns out the problem was that we were not using mipmaps for the starfield texture, which was causing this artifact. Trilinear filtering also helped to eliminate it.
    • This wound up making it so that we'd have to fix the starfields on 84 of the nebula backgrounds that we have, and as part of that we wound up actually completely reworking... a solid 50 of those. They're much more dramatic and colorful, without being a circus. There's a lot more variety in the feel of various planets now, which is really nice.
    • We could have just stuck with fixing the starfields themselves, but it was definitely much more satisfying to improve all the backgrounds so that they all reach the maximum quality bar that we've been setting lately.
    • As part of THAT, there were several that were too low-quality for us to use in the past, and those have been fixed up and now are in the rotation (and look great). The number of dark zenith planet nebula backgorunds (for DLC2) has doubled, as part of that. You'll only see that effect in new campaigns.
  • Added a new adjust_exposure_traditional_skybox="4" (or whatever number) for skyboxes that use traditional skyboxes, so that if they are under-exposed right now we can fix that. Certain ones were just showing up as black, which is quite strange. It seems to be vaguely related to the post-processing stack, but at any rate we can fix it with this.
    • Fixed _Black5 and _BlackHole to have improved exposure so that you can actually see them. It's not clear why these were so dark, but at least we can adjust it. If you see others that are off, please let us know and include savegames!

3.003 Continuing To Refine

(Released May 24th, 2021)

  • Most factions can now kill DSAAs; it was disrupting their logic (ships would sit around endlessly because they detected the DSAA as an enemy but couldn't shoot it)
    • Most recently reported by Lord Of Nothing
  • Scrapping a command station that's under attack now triggers the Shark B exo
    • Otherwise you could just always scrap your command stations before the AI could kill them during a battle.
  • Fix some exceptions in Astro Train LRP
    • Thanks to Darkshade for reporting
  • Added a 5 min cooldown weapon timer (Glacial)
  • Dyson sphere hacks are now actually capped at 3. Nerf their responses a bit (but they are still really really high for the second and third hack).
  • Dyson Spheres are allowed to kill reconquest command stations on their home planet again
    • Thanks to GreatYng for reporting
  • Relentless Waves can now tachyon blast planets, since civilian cloaked defensive structures were confusing them
  • Fix another potential bug where Waves could sometimes incorrectly target friendly units.
    • Thanks to Ranamar from discord for reporting
  • AI Eyes can no longer be hacked while alerted. Losing the hack attempt when one changes to being alerted is expected. Being able to just restart the hack like nothing happened while it was alerted pretty much invalidated them. If you must hack it leave the planet for a minute and let it turn back off.
  • Updated name="Returning_GCAs" display_name to remove the reference to GCAs and replace it with one for TSSs.
    • Thanks to Tzarro for fixing!
  • The Safe_DoOnSpecialEvent_OnMainThread() threads now also fire with a new SpecialEventType.IngameGalaxyOptionsSavedAndAppliedFromGameCommand as event type when, well, the new settings have actually been applied on both clients and the host. This was not the case with SpecialEventType.IngameGalaxyOptionsSavedAndApplied.
    • This fixes being unable to access the new settings in the thread that is meant to fire when the settings were updated.
  • When transforming a mobile fleet centerpiece that had self-hacks done the game will now try to apply the same to the new centerpiece.
    • If for some reason it can't (the new centerpiece can't do the same self-hacks, or can't do as many, or the new hacks are more expensive) it will try to sink in as many hacking points as possible into the same hacks and respec what it couldn't spend and display a message.
    • It will never overspend what already was spent on the old centerpiece.
    • This way it no longer is a trap for new players who upgraded their ZO Golems with self-hacks before discovering they could make them even more powerful with transformations - and losing their previous investments.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for updating!
  • Updated tutorial 4 to modern standards, utilizing current icons/assets, fixing grammatical errors, and a slight rewrite to introduce concrete tips (Upgrading a Citadel/Battlestation upgrades all turrets/engineers assigned to it, but upgrading a mobile/officer fleet only upgrades the flagship).
    • Thanks to Zweihand for updating!
  • Fixed a comma in Tutorial 3 - Basics of Fleets And Building.
    • Thanks to Zweihand for updating!
  • Raid battlestation no longer has makeshift turrets, making it have 3 turrets like every other starting loadout.
    • It used to have all four and being monotech because raid turrets were much worse before and paired badly with a number of loadouts. This has partly changed. It's still monotech so remains good, but no longer has that "extra"
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating!
  • Corrected an issue with the awakened Chain Lighting Eye having a viable sabotage hack. (Active eyes shouldn't be hackable.)
    • Also updated the base game eyes.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for updating!

Hacked Alien Ships Balance

  • Discovered a oversight in the ships that can be hacked for from Dark Spire. Simply put the player versions were copied from the NPC version stat blocks which use classic scaling. This actually was a problem for the frigate class Specter potentially granting up to 28 ships per hack. So simply enough we are fixing things so they use the better hull and shield values of the designated player strikecraft and frigate scaling. Which give better stats but much saner cap progression. Unfortunately this fix will likely only be fully effective for new games.
    • Hacked Dark Wraith maximum cap 64 -> 69 with strike scaling. Base cap reduced to 16 from 18 (starting cap in game is actually 35)
    • Hacked Dark Phantom maximum cap 43 -> 43 with strike scaling. Base cap reduced to 10 from 12 (starting cap in game is actually 22)
    • Hacked Dark Specter maximum cap 28 -> 6 with frigate scaling. Base cap reduced from 8 to 6. Maximum stats per ship increased by nearly double however.
  • Double checked the Dyson hack ship grants and discovered same issue. Players are not supposed to be getting 28 frigates off a single ship line hack.
    • Dyson Sentinel maximum cap 107 -> 113 with strike scaling. Base cap reduced from 30 to 26 (starting cap in game is actually 58)
    • Dyson Defender maximum cap 107 -> 113 with strike scaling. Base cap reduced from 30 to 26 (starting cap in game is actually 58)
    • Dyson Bulwark maximum cap 28 -> 6 with frigate scaling. Base cap reduced from 8 to 6. Maximum durability 7.7x instead of 4x though.
  • Raised science cost of Alien technology upgrades to match Expatriate costs. With the re-balance of Dark Spire and Dyson ship hacks to use player scaling on the ships (making the strike choices hit max unit caps within two ranks for a mere 1500 under previous costs) and the plethora of good options within DLC2 this tech line was too cheap and thus too valuable as an automatic max rank when it was remotely applicable. Still will be really good value for the first couple ranks (3500 total cost for first two ranks) but not auto-pick level.

Zenith Onslaught (General)

  • The missing basic QS for the DLC2 should now be available!
  • New Items from Zenith Trader!
    • Impending Doombomb from the Dark Zenith. 5 planetary cap; 40 galactic cap. Expensive and energy-intensive, but these beauties can take out giants
    • Mirrored Tractor Arrays from the Zenith Architrave. 10 planetary cap; 80 galactic cap. These tractors reflect 50% of damage they receive back to the source.
  • Spartacus Cruiser creates more phased cestus by default (still increasing 5 per mark). This should help it synergize better with itself and other ZA hacked ships
  • Mosquito drone buffs. Hardening from 25 ->15 (dies in 7 shots instead of 4); has a new bonus x3 multiplier to >= 5tx but tractor multiplier reduced to x3 (from x7)
    • These are intended to annoy big things, but they were dying too fast to function appropriately
  • Blackguard Cruiser nerfs. Both weapons have a 50% damage reduction
  • Drone Reclamator metal from 15K to 1.5M. This was always supposed to be a very expensive purchase that should take 15 min+ to pay for itself
  • Fixed description of Drone Stockade to remove mention of it having a movement speed -- it hasn't had this for a while
  • Fixed the Monarch outguard (the viceroy, specifically) from causing the faction from shutting down. Removed the starburst from it so it doesn't trigger drones the outguard faction can't handle

Dark Zenith

  • The DZ are now more able to build structures despite lurking cloaked enemies
    • Thanks to Alivaril for reporting
  • Fix a typo in the svikari description in the game lobby
    • Thanks to DarkShade for reporting
  • Zeus's balance changes
    • Barbed Tractor hits less targets, from 17gx -> 14gx
    • Nerfed ROF of the javelin/net launchers for DZ units
    • Barbed net/Javelin now have the correct version of self-destucting when attacking
    • Added the mine overlay to the doombomb to make it more clear what this unit is
    • Increased AOE of the DZ concussive field generator
  • Fix a DZ bug where we weren't using the right Difficulty for minor faction-allied DZ

Zenith Miners

  • Damage to mobile miners now sticks through the transformation
  • Add some defensive code for zenith miner notifications
    • Thanks to ZeroTheHero for reporting
  • When a Miner is killed, it now properly generates wreckage for the player to mine
    • Reported by zeusalmighty
  • Some tweaks to the zenith miner notifications. Fix a problem with miners making planets nomadic. Miners can now actually make ships on a planet slower
    • From a problem reported by Zero the Hero

Zenith Architrave

  • Fix a bug where pioneers wouldn't take nearby undefended planets
    • Thanks to Darkshade for reporting
  • Fix a bug where the ZA could fail to expand if they had enthusiastic allies
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle for reporting
  • Zeus's balance changes
    • Phased Castra have double hull/shields, spawns units every 5 minutes (from 30), and releases a golem-tiered Bustuarius upon death
    • Mirrored Tractor array buff: 25% ->50% retaliation damage.
  • Fixed a bug on external faction data where SpawningBooleanOne and SpawningBooleanTwo were not being tracked correctly over the network or to disk. Not sure how much impact this had on any existing saves, but it would be wrong behavior at worst (basically these always just being false).
    • Edit: actually, this should solve the "ZA Civil War not happening" bug.
    • Thanks to Badger for discovering.

Mod Updates

  • Additional updates to bring More System Defenders up to current balance standards.
    • Made the Stormfront Ark cost 100K energy instead of 7K to match base game balance. (This is so it plays nice with phasing weapons used by the Zenith within DLC 2)
    • Improved damage output and durability of the Stormfront Raid Frigate pair used by the Stormfront Ark.
    • Slightly improved the damage output of the missiles on the Stormfront Raiders used by the Stormfront Ark.
    • Escort Carrier Frigate given added_shots_per_salvo_per_mark="0.3" so it gains an extra shot per reload at mark 5.
    • Flypaper Frigate granted added_shots_per_salvo_per_mark="0.4" to its Charged Shells weapon granting an additional shot per salvo at marks 4 and 6.
    • Made Bomb-Pumped Laser Mines available within More System Defenders have an associated weapon tech same as the standard within DLC2. (Splash)
      • Was reminded by user ussdefiant60 of the newer standard set by DLC2 for mines.
  • AMU:
    • Fixed 2 files that were accidentally not pushed with the most recent changes.
  • AMU:
    • Adjusted the Shark B default settings to the same values as Vanilla now uses.
  • AMU:
    • Fixed an error in the custom debug popup logic where it didn't display the error that occurred.
    • Fixed a potential integer overflow in the GetSquareDistance() method, though this is unlikely to have caused exceptions in this very method.
    • Fixed an exception in the Auto-Construct Sniper Ring game command when building new sniper turrets and some were already on the planet (i.e. switching to a military command station and having more turrets, or already having placed some manually).
    • The Auto-Construct Sniper Ring now guards against potential issue from having command stations destroyed, crippled or switched at bad times when a client might be lagging behind and still thinks the station is fine.
    • In addition it also tries to avoid placing turrets close to command stations.
    • Fixed changes to AMU's galaxy settings only applying at best once after saving new galaxy settings. In addition settings will no longer update in the background each second, but whenever changed now. This means less CPU use for AMU in the background.
  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • Actually used the instrumentation in the DoSpawningLogic() method to display a debug step if the error repeats.
    • Fixed the Defense Augmenter hack on the Capital not working at all. This was likely broken since the inception of TDSSs and ODSSs.
    • Fixed the turret hacks for Marauders being hackable at mark 1 already. The Capital now requires itself being Mark 3 to get hacked, and the Outposts Mark 2 (which is down from also Mark 3 which was originally done). This likely a leftover from reducing the requirements to debug or test these hacks.
    • Fixed ships that are supposed to retreat immediately being assigned to fireteams again and going back into the fight even though they should not.
  • Updated AI Shield Generators mod as changes to AI Overlords meant that Homeworld Shield Generators were not spawning.

3.002 More Tweaks

(Released May 21st, 2021)

  • Player-Allied Marauders can spawn more Raiders
  • A new debug menu has been added that allows music tracks to be disabled or enabled. Simply double click on an entry to move it to the other side.
    • Thanks NB_FlankStrike for the idea and Dominus for implementing!
  • Shark B is now more powerful.
  • Balance adjustment to Blitzkrieg Turret (DLC1) where base damage was increased to be 2.5x previous. However drone counts per salvo slashed by two thirds. This is so the turret is more valuable being placed where it can shoot its now much stronger main gun rather than being hid in the back like a bootleg drone carrier.
  • Additionally added missing guard-post ignore tag to the Interceptor and Counter-Sniper turrets to match other sniper style entities.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for updating.

High-Difficulty AI buffs

  • The goal is to buff the AI only at high levels (most of these affect difficulty 10 most severely). Lower difficulty AIs are in a decent state.
  • Wormhole invasion buffed to occur at 155 AIP on Diff 8, 120 on Diff 9, and 75 on Diff 10
    • Thanks to Zweihand for updating.
  • The AI generates Exos (a la sharkB) when it kills one of your command stations. These exos should now be much larger for difficulty >= 7.
    • At 7 the exo is now 12 strength + 20 per 100 AIP, and at 10 the exo is 35 strength + 60 per 100 AIP
      • The goal is to make losing a command station actually have a cost; especially if the AI breaks past your front line to some undefended command stations, this can now just outright lose you the game
  • Hacking waves on difficulty 10 are larger
  • Wormhole Borers for difficulty 10 now start spawning sooner
    • This is for DLC2 only
  • This section brought to you courtesy of Metrekec

DLC 2

  • Zenith Miners now always spawn in the center of the planet, regardless of where their probe had been.
  • Additional multi-shot values for a couple DLC2 player usable frigates.
    • Phantasmal Host gains 0.4 per mark and thus gains an extra shot per salvo at Mk4 and Mk6.
    • Darker Mirror gains 0.5 per mark and thus gains an extra shot per salvo at Marks 3, 5, and 7. Note this is for its basic laser and not the reflected revenge shots.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for updating.
  • Fix to AI version of Raijin Golem within DLC 2 having woefully low durability for some reason.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for fixing.

Bugfixes

  • Corrected a incorrectly targeted copy_from reference. Outguard Paralysers were being copied from base Stingrays instead of the correct Paralyser unit.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for fixing.
  • The change music debug menu now properly displays the current song and no longer plays a song twice.
    • Thanks DEMOCRACY_DEMOCRACY for reporting and Dominus for implementing!
  • Fixed the Superterminal on Difficulty 10 having no hack to subvert.
    • Thanks to Sorrydough for reporting and NR SirLimbo for fixing.

Mod Updates

  • AMU:
    • Fixed AJEA (Auto-Juggle Energy Assistant) being default-on. It should now be properly disabled for new players, but the 100k energy that was the old default may even extend to players who are installing the mod for the first time.
      • Thanks to crawlers for finding.
    • Put in an experimental fix for a cross-threading exception in the FireteamPrecognitionMap, used by Kaizers Marauders. Essentially when planet links changed and certain paths were no longer possible it could fail and throw an exception.
      • Now when such a thing happens it will clear all current data and try again from scratch, up to 3 times. If even then it fails it'll display an error log, clearly something seems off. It will, however, not block the execution so at the next LRP it should try to find targets again.
  • Exotic Ships:
    • The Flameblade Light Frigate now includes a few instructions to get it to work correctly.
  • Extended Ship Variants:
    • The Attack Carrier drone variants of the VWing, Fusion Bomber and Concussion Corvette now share the same techs as the Attack Carrier (Core - Medium).
  • AMU:
    • Added the new Auto-Build Sniper Rings function (default off) in the Personal Settings -> Automation tab.
      • Sniper turrets are defined as all turrets with at least one weapon, all weapons must have a range greater or equal to 1 gravity well diameter, and if they have tractor beams those must also have the range requirement.
      • In practice this relates to Tritium Sniper and Spider turrets (Vanilla), and Holocene Missile, Interceptor and Counter-Sniper turrets (DLC 1). Any modded turrets fulfilling these requirements such as Beam Sniper Turrets (Kaizers Marauders) also automatically apply.
      • When enabled AMU will automatically build all sniper turrets on all planets in a ring around the gravity well, with some distance to all wormholes if possible.
      • This makes it so that enemies with insufficient range will need to move once around the gravity well in order to destroy all the turrets, which can be very time-consuming.
    • Fixed a terrible bug in the PlacementCondition framework. Essentially it uses square ranges for many calculations to be faster, but this lead to integer overflow on high ranges and could cause any number of freaky issues.
    • Added a new getIntSquareRoot_NonSimSafe() function. This relies on floatin point math which means it may end up with different results on different machines.
  • Exotic Ships:
    • Reduced the gravitic core strength on the Gravitic Drainer Corvette from -50% speed to -10% speed. With overlapping gravitic cores the slow as simply too powerful.
    • Ditto to the Anti-Gravity Destroyer, going from -80% to -60% speed debuff.
  • Minor update to More System Defenders
    • Removed mobile fleet lines grant from Stormfront Ark to match base game standards. Note this will only apply to new games created after this update.
  • Minor tweak to Frigates Focus so the ARS wasn't offering more options per hack than the base game is.

3.001 The Onslaught Continues

(Released May 19th, 2021)

  • Added a warned to all starting battlestations tooltip that picking the same starting battlestation twice will result in the second one being randomized.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adding.
  • Change weight of goodies in the ODSS
    • Chances for Tachyon Array reduced from 40 to 15
    • Chances for Sentry Frigate reduced from 100 to 25
    • Chances for Gravity generator increased 30 to 40
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.
  • A small change to Dark Spire hack so their interval is 10s like Dyson instead of 30s. It made more sense when the ship hack lasted 300s instead of 120s.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.

Bugfixes

  • Put in some added protections against "debug code 3400 during update fireteams," and more instrumentation.
    • Thanks to donblas for reporting.
  • Fix a bug where Dark Spire Vengeance Generators would explode after the third time you hacked them for ships
    • Thanks to a number of people for reporting, most recently GreatYng
  • Add a missing newline to the Esc menu display of factions.
  • Update Tips with corrections and typo fixes.
    • Done by Tzarro.
  • Fixed Tabloid Starting battlestation (DLC1) to no longer mention "exotic" in its description . As it doesn't have turrets of that technology.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.

Hunter Intelligence Improvements

  • Improve fireteams's abilities to kill high-health targets without weapons like Dark Spire Conquest VGs
    • Thanks to Daniexpert for reporting.
  • Fix a bug where the AI could spawn hunter threat against another dead AI.
  • Improve fireteam unit gathering (especially for hunters).
    • Thanks to Darkshade and Metrekec for reporting

DLC 2

  • DZ Fimbulwinter processing no longer happens on clients
    • Thanks to Rifi8 for the bug report
  • Fix a bug where sometimes ZA ships would fail to kill command stations
    • Thanks to ussdefiant for reporting
  • Fix a bug where sometimes ZA ships would fail to do anything at all
    • Thanks to Ovalcircle and ussdefiant for reporting and zeusalmighty for figuring out the problem
  • DZ Transports are now less likely to suicide their Transports into enemy planets
    • Thanks to LordNSR for reporting
  • DZ terminii and epistyles no longer have bubbleshields and have longer reload
    • Thanks Chris for pointing out the shields were unnecessary; Zeus went a head and nerfed damage as well -- the DZ has had a static Defense buff last patch that made their damage overkill
  • The Zenith Onslaught hovertext in the Expansions menu now is updated to reflect the release
    • Thanks to Breach for reporting
  • If an epistyle loses access to some resources it needs to finish building something, it will try to build something else instead
    • Reported on discord
  • Nomad planets will now move a bit further each time
    • From a discussion on discord
  • Fixed names for DLC2 drones being V-wing for bomber drone and gangsaw drone
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.
  • Reduced tractor range for Widowmaker from 70k to 30k, as the range was so huge it caused errors.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.
  • Fixed hackbot multiplier.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.

Display Options

  • Historically, we have relied on the unity engine with this game to tell us what fullscreen resolutions a given machine supports. Unity in turn relies on the OS's reporting. However, there are times where something is amiss at either the engine or the OS level, especially when it comes to very small or very large resolutions, particularly anything larger than 4K or the top-range-a-year-or-two ultrawide resolutions.
    • Given that when we run the game in fullscreen mode, it is generally borderless windowed mode (on windows and linux -- I think it's a bit more complicated on OSX), technically we should be able to use whatever resolution without the hardware itself freaking out.
    • With that in mind, we've added explicit overriding support for all of the common resolutions in all the common and uncommon aspect ratios of monitor ranging from 640x480 up to 5120x1440 (this last one was the one that seemed to be unsupported; it looks like 3840x1080 and down were all showing up fine).
    • With all of this said, please bear in mind that the various post-processing fullscreen effects normally are very lightweight, but when you push the resolution to be very high, they get far more expensive to run on your GPU (and CPU). 1920x1080 can fit in a 2k texture. Anything under 4096px wide can fix in a 4k texture. A 4k texture requires, at minimum, 4x the processing power of a 2k texture. If you go all the way up to the 5120x1440 resolution or similar, you are now working with 8k textures. These require 16x -- at the very least -- the processing requirements of a standard 2k texture.
    • If you're running the latest and greatest GPUs, and your machine laughs at this sort of post processing, then go for it! It's probably just fine. Some sort of fancy RTX or similar, you're just fine.
      • That said, if you're instead on OSX and you have Retina support (a very high possible resolution without the GPU support to help it out), then it's highly recommended that you drop your resolution to something lower. You'll have visuals that are just as sharp in most cases, but without the extreme extra processing requirements.
    • Big thanks to Hyper on discord for reporting the lack of support, and supplying the list of resolutions.
  • Also added explicit support for the common OSX retina resolutions, which are a different set.
  • Added a new "Fullscreen Effects (Post-Processing)" section to the Display settings tab.
    • Adjust things related to screen-wide post-processing effects in the game. Whether these are related to personal preference, hardware compatibility, or otherwise.
    • We'll allow more control over bloom, and turning off bloom, shortly. But it didn't make it into this release.
  • New advanced setting under post-procesing: Show 'Stale Intel' Camera Effect
    • When you are on a planet where your intel is out of date, show a full-screen fuzz effect. Defaults to on. Beware that it may be hard to tell if you're looking at outdated intel without this effect on. However, it does say 'Old Intel' at the top of the planet tab of the sidebar, so there is that other cue.
    • If you've been having trouble with things going too colorful on OSX with a Radeon GPU, please try turning this off.
  • New advanced setting under post-procesing: Show 'Stale Intel' Camera Effect
    • When you are on a planet where you have never even explored it at all, it shows a really severe wave distortion pattern like an old TV. Defaults to off. This would have been unlikely to actually ever be triggered these days, as you cannot click through into unexplored planets.
    • Note that, until this release, it defaulted to on, but again was impossible to hit since... some time in 2019 or 2020.

Mod Updates

  • Extended Ship Variants:
    • Removed the accidental Attack and Stealth carriers from the Repairing Support Starter Fleet.
  • AMU:
    • Fixed a bug in the More System Defenders autobuilder script. It was still using the DoForPlanetsParallel instead of single-thread.
    • Updated the exception logging to display better in the ArcenDebugLog.

3.000 Begin The Onslaught

(Released May 18th, 2021)

  • Base game credits have been updated to properly credit Badger in the #2 spot, and as the lead AI and faction designer (well, and coder also, but only so much fits).

Bugfixes

  • Some additional typos smitten
    • Thanks to daniexpert and tzarro in some unclear combination
  • Add a bit of defensive code to GetIsEitherControllerOrInfluencerHostileTo(), I saw a NRE.
  • Fix a bug where doing a planet hack (like 'neutral science extraction') could trigger a player-allied faction to try to respond to it.
  • Fixed an issue where any units beyond the first that were using a given model and under construction or in single or multi phase would not render properly.
    • The fix for this is fine, but really we could be doing this more efficiently, so I need to recode these shaders from scratch when I have time. It has to do with vertex offsets and the way the existing shaders are coded, so I'll need to just revise those effects completely again at some point soon. Maybe I can make them look even more cool.
    • Right now because of the vertex offset stuff, in this particular way that this shader is coded, it has to be a maximum batch size of 1, rather than the usual 1023. So that's more draw calls than preferable, but not the end of the world on even midgrade hardware from 5 years ago.
    • Thanks to GreatYng for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug in last night's release that was related to the MP fleets fix, but which broke all savegames and quickstarts older than 2.131 (this is sometime last year).
    • They are all now working again.
    • Thanks to Kallor for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen in ProjectedMultiPathData.AddConnection() if null planets were passed in by accident (usually a cross-threading thing).
    • Thanks to Vellsi and GalateanGemmate for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen at "Exception in entity tooltip text generation at stage 555"
    • Thanks to LordNSR for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen at "UpdateDataForPlanning Exception in Entities Loop B, debugStage 900"
    • Thanks to LordNSR for reporting.
  • Potentially fixed a bug with the Usurper at "DoEntitySecondLogic for Usurper debug code 100"
    • Thanks to Zweihander2021 for reporting.

DLC 2

  • Change the ZA default colour
  • The ZA is now slightly better at clearing its early planets
    • Thanks to Oval for reporting

Dark Zenith

  • Minor economic tweaks.
    • DZ and Svikari's D. Guardian and Golem tier units have about a 25-35% cost reduction
    • DZ and Svikari turrets don't cost black or red resources anymore
  • The DZ will prefer not to attack ZA territory.
  • The DZ increase their power level based on how many planets they've captured
    • On larger galaxies, they must take more planets to increase their power level
      • The AI was being too aggressive against the DZ
  • The svikari don't get the free bonus turrets

Mod Updates

  • Extended Ship Variant:
    • Fixed an error all players without DLC 2 would get because 2 entities (the Bomber Host and Decoy Host Frigates' decoy ships) were missing the tag to not load unless DLC 2 is installed.
      • Thanks to Recursive Optimization Exit for finding!

2.999 DLC Eve

(Released May 17th, 2021)

  • add overlays to the drone ODSS structures to help emphasize their connection to their respective command station tech
    • Thanks to Zeus for implementing.
  • Fix typo in MetalGeneration description.
    • Work done by Tzarro.
  • Fix HackToGrantShipLine_TSS_All typo.
    • Done by Tzarro.
  • Fix a typo in the hacking menu reported by tzarro
  • The AI will now try harder not to drop Exogalactic War Units directly on their enemy factions

Major Multiplayer Fix

  • Fixed a cluster of three issues that were combining to make one of the most tricky MP bugs in recent memory, and which were also making the game fairly unplayable for MP clients for a week, or a week and a half (time is hard; it may have actually been a bit longer, this has been a crazy time and a crazy bug).
    • The short of the problem was that lots of ships and even fleets would disappear for clients periodically. I could never really duplicate that on my own machine, but it turns out that loading and unloading transports would cause it instantly to happen. It also happened for other seemingly-random reasons.
    • So, overall, there was a three-pronged strategy to fixing this:
      • Firstly, ships that are suspected of being ghosts on the client are never allowed to just delete themselves if they don't hear back. They now add themselves to a new form of central registry, and do a better job of getting killed -- or updated -- by the host if the client requests a ghost check (hey, is this ship dead for you?).
        • This is probably good for some edge cases, some of the harder to track down ones, but it didn't help the core problem here much.
      • Secondly, we recently added sorting to the fleet member groups. When those were sorted by strength, then it would cause an order mismatch on the client and the host, which led to all ships in that fleet line (and probably then a cascade of others) being deleted.
        • This was something that was more periodic rather than happening absolutely every frame, and fixing this definitely fixed some errant client explosions, but was not the core issue that was making MP unplayable. It would have been more noticeable if it was not for the third issue.
      • Thirdly, and lastly, I added in a rapid-sync function for fleets a few releases back (around when this all started). The goal was to have it update fleet data faster after a load or unload of transports, to keep strength numbers accurate. And this was working... kinda.
        • But the problem was, this was a general-purpose fleet sync tool that normally synced ALL fleets for a faction. So it had logic in there to delete any fleets that were not included in the update data (since those clearly did not exist on the host). That normally is fine... except with the fast sending of partial data. If we had 3 fleets out of 200 that needed to get quick updates, it was deleting 197 fleets and all the stuff in them. Of course this would cause massive lag and other problems.
        • This was easily triggered by making transports load or unload, but other things could also trigger it. In the end, just making it so that the host sends a message of "I'm sending them all, or I'm just sending a few" is enough to make it so that we can only run the delete method when it sends them all. And that then solves the problem.
    • Thanks to a huge number of folks for reporting the problem, and bearing with us while we tried to figure this thing out!

DLC2

  • Final version of the DLC2 credits are now in place.
  • New DLC2-specific cheat code: "cmd:zeus cc", which spawns all of Zeus's cruisers in one fleet.
  • Documented an existing DLC2-specific cheat code: "cmd:zm here", which spawns a Zenith Miner probe at the planet you are currently at.
  • Zenith Miners now do a better job of conveying how long until they eat a planet by the colour in the tooltip (and in the planet name)
  • The 'reroute miner' hack against a zenith miner probe now allows you to pick which adjacent planet you'd like to see the miner on.
  • Added two new quickstarts.
    • Thanks to Zeus for implementing.

Balance

  • Miner mass from 12 -> 26 tx. This thing is huge.
    • Thanks to Zeus for implementing.
  • ZA hackable units reworked as separate entities. Start at mark 2 to get to mark 7 with full alien tech. The guardian tier now properly load but they had to be treated as strikecraft. Stats for these units adjusted to reflect this scaling
    • Thanks to Zeus for implementing.
  • DZ invasion initial budget at 5+ increased. Watching Demo play, Zeus saw that he nerfed the initial invasion too hard so this should be more balanced.
    • Thanks to Zeus for implementing.
  • Svikari nerfs to their resource collection rates. They were teching up too quickly watching Democracy play the other day
    • Thanks to Zeus for implementing.
  • The AI will not send Exos against the DZ if the DZ is not doing well
    • The goal is that for balanced DZ-AI situations (ie similar difficulties), the AI shouldn't be able to kill the DZ without player intervention and the DZ shouldn't take over the whole galaxy without player intervention
  • The DZ now get free defensive structures when they build an economic structure
    • The DZ's planets were too easy for the hunter to hit-and-run
  • The DZ now spawn some defensive turrets when they create a new terminus or epistyle. The Hunter was feasting on undefended dz economy
  • Zenith Onslaught has a higher intensity DZ now that it's considered a harder QS

Bugfixes

  • DLC2 fix, made AI version of Raijin Golem use correct assets.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for updating!
  • Fixed the ludicrous number of shots on the hacknet golem (DLC2)
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating!
  • Fix a bug where DZ planets would link into the galaxy early if a nomad planet moved
    • Thanks to Democracy for reporting
  • Fix a typo in the DZ faction description
    • Thanks to Mac for reporting
  • Fix a typo in the Crashing Nomads Notification hovertext
    • Thanks to Democracy for reporting
  • Fix a bug in the ZA when you destroyed its Portal
    • Thanks to Democracy for reporting
  • The DZ now properly generate a hacking response when their units are hacked
    • Thanks to democracy for reporting
  • Add some defensive code related to fireteams and destroyed planets
  • Phased Castras now spawn correctly when you hack a Castra to death
    • Thanks to zeus for reporting
  • The Jormugandr should be less prone to indecision now
    • Thanks to democracy for reporting
  • ZA portal shouldn't be able to be hacked more than once.
    • Thanks to Zeus for implementing.
  • If a Zenith Miner has been fighting for more than 10 minutes without transforming, it will just transform
    • Thanks to Zweihand for reporting
  • The AI now spawns the correct number of anti-DZ dragons
    • Reported by zeus

Mods

  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • Fixed a bug that would make Marauders crash shortly after loading a game.
    • This most likely happened when a Marauder outpost was destroyed in the same second as the game was saved. Upon loading the code would no longer find an outpost to work with, because it's gone, but wouldn't remove it unless it was recognized as destroyed. Now it simply sees an outpost no longer existing as a reason to remove it too.
      • Thanks to Magiik for reporting with an extremely helpful save.
  • Extended Ship Variants:
    • Even more extended now. For Vanilla adds 2 more ships:
      • The Stealth Carrier and Attack Carrier are variants of the Ambush Carrier. They are available for everyone.
    • Added content exclusive if Zenith Onslaught is enabled:
      • Included 8 more Strike Craft variants:
        • Electric Blaster, Static Bomber, Polarazer, Polaraider, Shrike Fighter, Shrike Seeker, Dark Splitter, Toxic Mirror
      • Included 4 more Frigate variants:
        • Darker Gravity Mirror Frigate, Darker Echo Frigate, Bomber Host Frigate, Decoy Host Frigate
      • Added the Hardened Transport Flagship, which has the "Sturdy Fleet" as starter fleet.
      • Added the Repairing Combat Factory and its starter fleet.
      • Updated the description to reflect these changes, include the new stuff and no longer wrongfully refer to DLC 1 as "Fallen Spire". Instead it now correctly is called "The Spire Rises".
      • Updated a few other things in the description that were off or simply outdated.

2.910 Onslaught Approaching

(Released May 15th, 2021)

  • There is now a way to draw a planet that does not exist in the grav well.
  • The dyson sphere (base game) has gotten a facelift, and looks fancier now, as well as having a slightly fancier rotation.
  • Some of the per-planet per-frame code has been moved around to really be per frame, rather than per sim-step. This can make a difference in how quickly it responds to things like... well, like being blown up, among other things.
  • Added a variety of per-planet effects in our asset bundles that we're not actually using. Some intense particle effect variants, and some crazy lightning, among other things. Modders sometimes pick up things like this and use them. Check the manifest files for the effects_and_lines file.

General Balance Changes

  • Player Adjustments
    • Cloaked transport's income boost now needs 5 miniutes to kick in instead of instantly (like the other transports)
    • Battlestations now consume energy! All versions use 15K (half of a citadel); mass 5tx -> 6tx
    • Citadels (all variants) Mass 7tx -> 8tx
    • Black Hole Machine (including AI) Energy 10K -> 20K
  • AI Factions
    • Overlord Phase 1 armor 300mm -> 350mm; Mass 7tx ->13tx; energy 25K ->250K
    • Overlord Phase 2 armor 300mm -> 350mm; Mass 7tx ->13tx; energy 25K ->250K
    • Command stations Energy 0 -> 150K
    • Warp gate Energy 100 -> 15K
    • Dire Singularity Guardian stat adjustments. Mass 10tx -> 7tx; energy 35K ->25K; armor 90mm->210mm
    • Dire Guardposts all have energy usage increaase from 25K -> 50K
    • Ion Cannon Energy 300 -> 20K
    • Mass Driver Energy 300 -> 20K
    • Alerted Eyes (all) Energy 300 -> 150K
    • AI Fortress Mass 7tx -> 8tx
    • AI Super Fortress Mass 7tx -> 11tx; Energy 50K -> 150K
  • Astro Train Faction
    • Astro Train stat adjustments (all versions): Mass 6tx -> 8tx; energy 10K -> 30K
    • Fenrir armor 150mm -> 245mm; energy 10K ->100K; Mass 7tx ->9tx
    • Reanimator armor 150mm -> 245mm; energy 25K ->100K; Mass 7tx ->9tx
    • Umbra armor 150mm -> 245mm; energy 25K ->100K; Mass 7tx ->9tx
    • Shellshocker armor 150mm -> 245mm; energy 25K ->100K; Mass 7tx ->9tx
    • Custodian armor 150mm -> 245mm; energy 25K ->100K; Mass 7tx ->9tx
    • Warspite Artillery armor 150mm -> 245mm; energy 25K ->100K; Mass 7tx ->9tx
    • Warspite energy 25K ->50K
  • Dark Spire Faction
    • Vengence Generator/Locus Energy 0 -> 100K; Mass 2tx ->5tx
    • Wraith Mass 5tx -> 1tx. Player cap 20->18
    • Phantom Mass 5tx ->1tx; Energy 2000 -> 2,250; Player cap 14->12
    • Spectre Mass 6tx->5tx
    • Hackable DS ships now start at mark 2 so they can reach mark 7 if players invest in alien tech
  • Dyson Sphere Faction
    • Added a cosmetic energy cost to their portal
    • Antagonizer Energy 0 -> 50K
    • Bastion Energy 9K -> 50K
    • Bulwark Player cap 6 -> 8
    • Hackable Dyson ships now start at mark 2 so they can reach mark 7 if players invest in alien tech
  • HRF nucelophilic defender starts at mark 2 like the others (was mark 3)
  • Macrophage (and enraged) Energy 500 -> 25K
  • Nanocaust Faction
    • Cosmetic energy costs to Hive/Centers
    • Mutation Energy 25 -> 100
    • Anomaly Energy 25 -> 100
    • Deviant Energy 25 -> 100
  • Adjustments to the AI Warden Sniper Guardian
    • Broke off from being a copy_from into its own entity to finally remove some erroneous weapon bonuses that were not desired.

DLC2 Work

  • The visuals for the zenith miner doing its mining are now able to properly scale and coexist in the world of the game. Some of this was just adjusting the particle effects to be more responsive to changes in scale and view orientation.
    • The planet layer is now pulled forward when the zenith miner is mining, so that it is drawn in the main layer along with the miner itself This allows us to have the miner pierce the planet visually while also properly occluding objects behind it (it looked very strange otherwise).
  • Fixed a nullref exception that would happen if you were mousing over the Zenith Miner notification right when it exploded.
  • We have a new code structure that is able to have various defined effects on planets in the background background, either things like them exploding (a singular event), or ongoing items like a status effect (being a nomad, being near death from a miner).
    • This is now used both for planets that explode, and planets that are nearing death from the miner. You can see the sequence for that here (spoiler warning for DLC2!): https://youtu.be/7eRuGLyTa5A
  • Fixed two tooltip typos with the Zenith Miner.
    • Thanks to LordNSR for reporting.
  • Nomad Planets and Fimulwintered planes both now have visual effects that come onto their planets. These can be combined with other things, like a miner drilling them or it being a dyson sphere or whatever.

Balance

  • Fortress golem has reduced shot per salvo to 30 from 40.
  • Miner stat adjustments (both forms): Mass 11 tx -> 12tx; Energy 150K -> 500K
  • ZA Castra (and Phased form) start an mark 7 so they spawn appropriate units when aggro'd.
  • Updated CRC's nasty picks's stats to be consistent with Zeus's general balance sweep.
  • Hacking costs and response adjusted for a couple of the ZO hacks
    • ZA Quiesce is shorter, stronger response to compensate
    • ZA/DZ Cruiser hack has strong tertiary response. Made sure DZ cruiser hack limited to one
    • DZ library hack for non-cruisers has cap at 5 hacks. Hacks cost 25% more and generate 50% response per hack
  • DZ now has 20 possible hackable ships (4 units x 5 variants)
  • DZ cruiser library has sidebar name corrected

Bugfixes

  • Fixed an exception when viewing the high-detail tooltip info of ship types with Attrition damage limits when no actual ship and its stats but only the general information was displayed.
    • Thanks to LordNSR for reporting, and to NR SirLimbo for fixing!
  • Fixed a couple of rare nullref exceptions that could happen in GetHackingLevelMultiplier().
    • Thanks to slake-moth for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug that has been around for a few months where whenever you hack a non-ARS/TSS-style structure (usually alien stuff or other minor factions), it was not properly re-rolling the potential rewards that you could get for hacking a second time. This affected the dyson sphere in the base game, and a variety of things in DLC1 and 2.
    • Thanks to Zeus and others for reporting.

Mod Updates

  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • Fixed an improvidence where Marauders were calculating their exogalactic power response level in a bad way.
    • Before Marauders would reduce the final result (which depending on intensity could in theory be as high as 5) by 2 if allied to either a player or AI, and then again by the number of AIs. This would mean that Marauder empires allied to the player could get incredibly powerful, but face a disproportionately low response from the AI.
    • Now the required strength of Marauders to go up a power level is increased by 2x if allied to a player or AI, and then multiplied again by the AI count.
    • This means that it will correctly take Marauders longer to climb the power level ranks, but even in games where they are allied to players or AIs and/or face a high number of AIs they will be able to reach the upper ends of their response levels instead of getting capped.
      • Thanks to LordNSR for reflecting on their response levels in crazy high power games.
    • All the warping-in Marauder Outposts, Capitals and Superstructures now use warping-in effects.
  • AMU:
    • Fixed a couple of absolutely atrocious bugs in AJEA (Auto-Juggle Energy Assistant) claim-energy-cost calculations:
      • First of all it was only checking natural objects factions for things to claim, not also the player faction.
      • This padded a bug where it was not checking whether something was already claimed, which would've lead AJEA to free up energy for all energy-costing centerpieces the player owned, even those whose energy already is actively used.
      • Furthermore there was a bug where the loop going through all the potential capturables was using a false skip condition. It would only skip if the entity both had 0 or less energy cost AND not be on stand-down, which makes no sense whatsoever.
      • Furthermore there was a bug where the inner parts of that loop were also using wrong another, outer loop's index variable. In the best case this would've lead to wrong calculations. In the worst case it would've thrown an index-out-of-range exception and killed AJEA.
      • In this test case it now works and calculates properly.
        • Accidentally discovered in a save from LordNSR for an unrelated issue, but many thanks for that!

2.909 The Hunt Intensifies

(Released May 15th, 2021)

  • Buff Dire Gravity Guardian damage 1500 -> 2500 (royal variant 3000 -> 5000)
    • Thanks to Democracy for the suggestion.

Hunter Changes

  • Hunter Fleets now starts at 1 fireteam for difficulty 1, and goes up to 10 fireteams for difficulty 10.
    • This will allow them to focus their efforts more effectively, since previously you might have 20 fireteams and 3 teams just sitting around waiting to hit a really strong target. Better to let them focus their efforts.
    • Also, the hunter at lower intensities should be much more brute-force-only
  • Hunter is better at detecting when it's allocated resources are enough for one battle and and they should focus other units elsewhere
  • Improve the logic for Hunter Fleets getting lurk planets to be more efficient
  • Hunter fireteams now prefer to give units based on which fireteams are closest (and need units to activate)
  • Hunter Fleets unlock Dire Guardians a bit earlier on difficulty >= 7 (same for Warden Dires).
    • Slightly buff the Dire Guardian income ratio for hunters

Fireteam intelligence improvements

  • Fireteams now do a better job of realizing when they have enough strength to attack locally, and are more willing to attack early (even without all their ships) if they think they can win
  • Fireteams in 'assembling' mode will now run away if attacked; this should make it harder for players to snipe ships preparing to attack them
  • If fireteams are attacking a player planet, that faction's other fireteams become more willing to attack other planets owned by that player.
    • The hope is that this will allow for multi-front battles if the conditions are right.
  • When selecting fireteam targets, take only one target per planet. This costs a bit of memory ineffeciency, but it shortcuts a lot of work we might do so it should be a net performance boost.
    • If a planet had (say) an Economic Command Station, a Lost Energy Reactor and a player-allied scourge spawner then there might be a separate fireteam target for each of those generated by the selection code; this was causing the target analysis code to do extra work, and could wind up with fireteams overly focused on certain planets
  • add a game command to reset all the fireteams for a given faction. Intended for testing
  • Fireteam and Hunter improvements were motivated by a discussion with Strategic Sage

Visual Updates

  • Units that are in the process of warping in (this is in the base game and both DLC1 and DLC2, for various NPC factions) now have new visuals that they display during this period.
    • Any regular visuals that they have (shape) can be combined with the new warping-in effect simply by adding is_drawn_as_warping_in="true" to their unit xml. That has been done for all of the existing units.
    • This gives them a clear view that they are still warping in, and along with the icon status effect is a reminder to you to kill them before they finish arriving, if you can!
  • Ships that are phased out in either solo-phase or multi-phase now have unique graphics for during that state. They look shadowy and animated and intense, not mysteriously missing like they used to be.
    • This should hopefully help with confusion on the overlord phase 2, among other things. Certainly it's also relevant for the Zenith Architrave in general.
    • There were already tooltips and icon overlays and such, but this is the final piece to really make that come together.
  • There are now vertex-animated (wobbly, in other words) versions of the phasing materials, and still versions.
    • To make sure something absolutely will use the still version, set barred_from_vertex_animated_phasing="true" on it. This overrides anything else.
    • To ask something to use the animated version, use uses_vertex_animated_phasing="true". Various large ships and structures automatically set this behind the scenes, too. However, anything that is barred from using it will skip it no matter what.
    • Basically, some models will respond to this shader poorly and look very psychedelic. Those ones we simply bar from using it when we find them.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for being so enthusiastic about this that we couldn't resist.

Major New Graphical Subsystem

  • We have a new "Assets/_FinalGameMeshes/BlankShipSoOtherAddonsCanDrawAlone.prefab" low-poly object that can be used for ships or units that are based on addons can instead draw in place of them.
    • The object actually is not invisible on its own, despite our attempts with the shader. Not on all hardware, anyway. So you can technically use any model, and then just use the new ship_skips_traditional_rendering="true" instead to make the ship not render the traditional way.
    • This is highly useful, because while for the vast majority of ships our DrawMeshInstanced dyanamic approach is far superior, there are certain things (particle effects, mainly) that just can't be done with that approach.
    • For those other effects, which are comparably rare, our goal is to blend those in as efficiently as possible -- and we've actually be doing that exact thing since the earliest days of AI War 2. Forcefields already use this approach, but a less-flexible one in terms of how the art is loaded and unloaded.
    • The addons framework can work with or instead-of existing types of art (and actually, our wormholes already use a particle system, too, but that's a bit of a different style in terms of how those work).
  • addon_object_or_particle_field="Whatever" and addon_object_or_particle_field_scale="3.5" (or some other floating point number) now allow us to add in these extra bits on arbitrary units, either in place of them (by using the blank thing), or in addition to them).
    • It's worth noting that ships that are drawn in this way take more CPU time to render, and so should be done sparingly. They also can't automatically work with status effects that would change their visuals, like phase changes, etc. Mostly this should be use for non-ships.
    • The whole point of this approach is that it is extremely unorthodox, and set up to work "however," and so it's very flexible in that regard.
  • Defined the first 10 "addon objects or particle effects," in a mix of the base game and DLC2.
    • So far it finds them and loads them appropriately into the complex new pooling structure that has been coded for them, but it doesn't deploy them yet.

New Warp Gates

  • New graphics are now in place using the addons and particle systems for the following units/structures:
    • Warp Gates (for the AI, base game). Super fancy now.
    • AI Reserves Spawn Points (again the AI, base game). Super fancy now, first time they have had graphics of their own.
    • Dyson Sphere Warp Gate (man it was ugly before, it was base game). Even more fancy now.

DLC2

  • Graphics for the Raijin golem in DLC2 are now integrated!
  • Voids, which are dropped by a thing dropped by the Voidpiercer Cruiser, now have their graphics fully integrated.
    • Voidpiercer Cruiser is now also fully integrated with its graphics. The Void Catalyst that it directly drops is not graphically in there yet, though.
  • Tempest Cruiser art integrated.
    • Also Riot Control Cruiser.
  • The Zenith Miner wreckage art is now integrated. It's super huge.
  • The traveling version of the Zenith Miner has also been integrated. It's even more huge.
  • Using the new "addons and particles" toolkit, we now have for DLC2:
    • A very large and menacing ZA Warp Point, which they mostly use in civl wars.
    • The ZA home portal is even larger.
    • The hacked version is super duper intense, but the same size.
    • The Zenith Miner that is actively mining a planet is kinda-sorta here, but it's not animating properly, scaled properly, or inserted into the planet as far as we want it to go. Investigation will continue on this tomorrow.
  • We now also have an addon_object_or_particle_field_y_offset="int" that lets us adjust the addons up and down as needed.
    • This doesn't yet work, for some reason.

ZO Balance

  • Miner's stationary range doubled
  • Major adjustments to the DZ difficulty tables
    • Low intensitites have relatively strong invasion but poorer economy
    • Moderate intenstities have medium invasion and economy
    • High intensitities have relatively weak invasion but richer economy
    • Skivari have a slightly different version of this change

Bugfixes

  • Fix a bug where scourge units would fly into your choke points heedless of their own demise
    • Reported by donblas
  • Suppressed a harmless error message (BUG: AnalyzeFriendlyToHostileBalance called with null targetPlanet) that could nevertheless cause an AI faction to shut down. The way the method returns is proper for basically sending the AI into a holding pattern until it gets a target planet.
    • Thanks to Zweihander2021 for reporting.
  • Put in one potential fix in GetAddedToFleetsForEntity() against an error that Strategic Sage experienced, and then instrumented the rest of that method so that if it happens again, we'll know where the problem is.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for reporting.
  • The nebula backgrounds and planet backgrounds now happen the same way each time on planets, versus being different between different runs of the same savegame (which was offputting and confusing).
    • Additionally, the planet visual status now gets applied properly even when the players have not yet unpaused the game.
    • This also properly now carries over to MP clients.
    • Existing saves must be unpaused for 1 second before it applies, but then after that it will stick properly.
  • The PrimaryInfluencingFaction is now saved into the planet's serialized data, even though this is "only" cache data.
    • This helps make sure that clients are as up to date as possible on the visuals that go with this.
    • This also makes it so that even when you load a savegame, you don't have to unpause and wait 1 second for territory of secondary factions to show up properly.
  • Deep-Space Anomaly Analyzers now always seed as AI structures
    • Previously they could sometimes seed as belonging to other factions (like the Dark Spire), which meant the AI would kill them and increase AIP
    • Thanks to a number of people for reporting, including Metrekec and ussdefiant60
  • Disabled the vertex animation part of the ship under construction and similar effects. On ships with very low poly counts (and so this would include distant LODs even for large ships), it went absolutely nuts in terms of just having too few vertices to work with.
    • We later brought that back in a limited fashion (see above).
    • Thanks to Democracy for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug with forcefields not disappearing after their shields were down in the last version.
    • Thanks to Democracy for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug from the last few versions (since the ship to ship lines rewrite) where various engineering lines and similar would not be visible properly after being added into the pool once and then the next time they should have been used they would be invisible. Was a good old fashioned case of forgetting to finish the code when very tired. Sigh.
    • This probably also affected tractor beams and similar, and claim beams, but it did not seem to affect beam weapons.
    • Thanks to donblas, RocketAssistedPuffin, Darkshade, and GreatYng for reporting.
  • Fix a bug where the 'prevent energy balance changes from wrecking old save games' code was kicking in on any game the first time you went into an energy deficit
    • This would be eligible to re-trigger each time you saved/reloaded

Huge Amounts Of Preemptive Code Hardening Against MP Client Errors

  • Updated dozens of places in the code that were either already prone to having MP-related cross-threading issues on clients, or which could in theory have those sorts of issues at some point in the future, or which could have those issues in even more-rare cases on AMD machine hosts/singleplayer.
    • Some of these were being hit, others just fit a pattern where it was just a matter of time, but these have all been updated to use new methods (with the word Safe at the end, and descriptive) that don't change the meaning of the code and don't require end-programmer defensive code.
    • Thanks to Tzarro for the most recent reports.
  • All references in the entire game that went directly from a ship/squad to FleetMembership.Fleet have been adjusted to use the newer cross-thread-safe methods. In total, this made changes in about 200 (maybe?) files, and probably over a thousand lines of code. Some of them never would have been a problem, others were just waiting for the wrong kind of processor/OS combo and just plain bad luck to set them off, almost but not entirely exclusively on MP clients.
    • This is a preventative measure that should cut down on future random MP errors drastically.
  • Hardened a couple of gnarly pieces of logic in ShipListerUtils that had not errored yet in MP for any clients, but it was only a matter of time.
  • Fixed a number of cases where a hack might verbalized a harmless error on an MP client, thus getting in the way of its execution and confusing matters, when really the host will just finish taking care of the hack and the client can just ignore those temporary lapses and carry on.
  • Further updates to any code that matched the pattern of ".FleetMembership." (minus the quotes) to finish hardening it all against cross-threading exceptions. With the other bits already hardened, this was down to just a few dozen instances left.
  • More code hardening, this time in the direction of ".PlanetFaction.Faction." and anything related, plus ".PlanetFaction.Faction,".
    • This is overall around 500 lines of code in over 100 files.
    • These were less common to error than the fleet stuff, but were certainly extremely common as a source of errors on MP clients and as cross-threading errors in general.
  • Fixed over 100 cases where code was too-optimistically referencing the results of GetControllingFaction() or similar on planets.
    • This was almost never a problem, but did lead to some cross-threading error possibilities, particularly on MP clients.
  • Fixed over 400 lines of code in 61 files where we could get nullref exceptions from trying to find the names of planets associated with various things. Most of these were extremely null, and may not have even been a possibility in terms of truly generating an error, but the revised code makes absolutely sure (mainly relevant for highly performance multithreaded MP clients).
  • Further hardened the code against some more cross-threading issues that were theoretically possible when drawing specific units.

DLC 2

  • Spawn a DZ Library variant that one can hack for a unique cruiser
  • Make SaveScum a bit less effective against zenith miners. There are still some save-scummable aspects, but they are a bit reduced
  • The Spire Hammer AI Type now has much more of a focus on spire ships.
    • Thanks to Zweihand's comments that there weren't enough spire ships
  • When doing the 'crash nomad planet hack' the game now provides a popout asking 'Which planet would you like to crash me into' and lets the player choose.
    • You can pick any non-player-owned planet. Crashing a nomad into a bastion/homeworld planet produces a full strength response; any other target produces a 1/2 strength response.
  • Add a new Journal for the Nomads explaining how the crash works.
  • Crashing a nomad into a planet now correctly triggers AIP increases
  • Drone Reclamator no longer comes with the hw command station -- meant to remove that after debugging it
    • T hanks Democracy for pointing this out!
  • "A Dark Alliance" QS no longers starts at x5 speed enabled. Didn't realize that would be saved
    • A few ZO testers encountered this, don't recall all but thanks!
  • Updated all QS to have custom faction colors instead of random. This makes a non-trivial difference to seeing what's going on, actually
    • Thanks to Marty651 for pointing this out!
  • Anti-DZ Dragons (and anti-fallen-spire dragons) no longer count as threat against the player
  • Fix a bug where ZAs would incorrectly flag themselves as Civil War Enabled in the esc menu

Mod Updates

  • AMU:
    • Fixed a bug in the Serialization of AMU's WrappedPlanetFaciton. The code was set up to serialize a bool whether it was null or not, and only if it was not null it would also serialize it's planet and faction indices.
    • However, it actually did the opposite: When it wasn't null it would serialize nothing more, and when it was null it would have tried to serialize -1 and -1 in an UltraEfficientStyle of 0-1023, which would cause it to fail.
    • Unfortunately since this is a bug introduced to Serialization and the data required to fix the bug was never saved this cannot be reconstructed. The erroneous saves are lost forever.
      • Thanks to Vaos for reporting.
  • Fixed another bug in AMU's FactionAllegiance base class where, after loading a save, it would cause the faction applying it to become friendly to literally everyone.
    • This trickled down into Kaizers Marauders and made a faction that's supposed to be the kings of piracy and scumbaggery pacifists. Blaaarrrggghh!
    • Luckily this time the bug was very simple and easy to fix, and it will not break any saves.
      • Thanks to Vaos for reporting.

2.906 Journaling Along

(Released May 13th, 2021)

  • Spire Engineering Center (in DLC1) is now called Spire Repair Center, as it otherwise implied it assisted construction like engineers. This caused a lot of confusion.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.
  • Add "The Swarm" quickstart to DLC1, an idea kicked around today in Discord.
    • 3 lower difficulty AIs with a powerful scourge, and a macrophage for the "bio" theme.
    • Thanks to donblas for adding!

Journal Entries

  • Add beginner journal entries for:
    • Low Threat
    • High Threat
    • Discovered AI Eye
    • Outnumbered
    • Discover Guards
    • Discover Citadel
    • Discover TSS
    • Discover ARS
    • Thanks to donblas for writing these!

Visual Updates

  • The temporal filter on the Amplify Bloom effect that we use in the game has been disabled. It was possible in rare cases (more common recently) to be able to essentially "overload the virtual optical sensor" with light data and get into an invalid tinted state.
    • Thanks to GreatYng for reporting it initially, and then we started seeing it shortly after repeatedly with work on the new content for DLC2.
  • The "under construction" shader for ships that are building is now updated to be more efficent (using the geometry queue rather than transparent) as well as being more noticeably animated.
  • The AI Dragon from DLC2 that gets spawned after Zenith stuff now has its own unique graphics separate from how dragons from DLC1 look.
  • Added a lot of code for attaching and removing and pooling and displaying "addon objects or particle fields" to ships, so that we can display things like the Zenith Miner eating a planet. This hasn't been tested out yet, but it also isn't being activated yet.
    • That will come tomorrow, as the art for that stuff is ready. This is a new general-purpose major capability for the game as a whole, and will allow us to do some other things also not related to ships (for instance, planet explosions or planet status effects that are visibly there), which will also be coming tomorrow.
    • Also coming tomorrow, assuming that this all works correctly, are some upgraded base-game graphics to use these new capabilities, specifically around the various incarnations of warp gate.
  • Also created new visuals for the different phase states of matter for ships (including some base game and DLC1 content that uses this), but it isn't applied to those ships yet. Again, that will come tomorrow along with a large batch of other stuff.

Bugfixes

  • Fix a typo in a game lobby setting
    • Thanks to schoenberg for reporting
  • Fixed a couple of different errors that could happen in our new "reorganize player fleet lines" sort code.
  • Fix fleet memberships to sort by name if their strengths are equal in the end.
  • Fix a bug where journal entries that were "blocked" in XML were not correctly being blocked
    • Thanks to donblas for reporting.
  • In the event that one material can't be drawn, the game no longer freaks out any stops drawing all materials. It now gives you an error about that (once per run of the game per material name), and then just stops drawing that thing. It will be a drain on performance while this is happening, but won't cause things to look drastically wrong.
    • Previously these errors were only going to ErrorsReportedByEngine and were not very visible. We also almost never have these, but with making new art additions it can happen, usually on internal builds.
  • Correct an off-by-1K cost measurement for display purposes
    • I forget who reported this
  • Self Attritioning Ships (like tesla torpedoes) no longer give the Dark Spire energy
    • Reported by Tzarro
  • Add some defensive code to the Faction class for a weird exception I saw just after the game loaded
  • Fixed an error in the XML loading of the game where the required_expansion_list XML field did not get respected if the expansion required did not even exist in the player's game files.
    • This could cause massive issues if trying to load a mod that hat content locked behind DLCs but would fail to load if said DLCs was not bought.
    • In one case of Extended Ship Variants it was crashing the game in such a way that it would not even load to the main menu to disable the mod again.
      • Thanks to Zweihand and Charge for the report, and especially Charge for helping to debug this and testing out the solution. And thanks to NR SirLimbo for finding this in the code and fixing it!

Balance

  • Adjust the weapon ranges on a couple reflex weapon systems. They aren't actually used, but display on Z hotkey ranges. Should cut down on confusion a little.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for adjusting.
  • Assigned command station techs as secondary tech branch to strikecraft hangar system defenses.
    • Military Command for the Bomber and Shrike Interceptor hangars.
    • Logistical Command for the V-Wing hangars.
    • Economic Command for the Metabolizing Gangsaw hangars.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for adjusting.
  • Additional tweak to Attractive Matrix Fortress reflex weapon listed fire rate to be once per second. Cosmetic change since its actual fire rate is based on how quickly its being shot.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for adjusting.

DLC 2

  • Fix a minor typo with the Reclamator
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for reporting
  • If the scourge want to send a unit to a random metal generator on a planet that's been ravaged (thus, no metal generators) they will instead send units to a random location on the planet
  • Ambush Mines now have MUCH higher priority. These do nothing unless killed so these need to be preferred targets
  • Finally fixed the Drone reclamation drones (they weren't launching before). They now have a weak weapon jam in addition to their metabolism
  • Voidcaller Outguard now has true invulnerability (so it doesn't kill itself when attacking elecrtoxic units. It's event horizon AOE has been reworked so it's more likely to pull units all around it instead of in clumps
  • Voidpiercer's Void has AOE rework for same reasons
  • Ethereal Cruiser balance changes:
    • Ion Disintetegator paralysis now works on mass tx <13 (was 50). This is meant to affect most everything, but Tier 4 and 5 exogalactic units are immune
    • Base damage of Ion Disintetegator 50K -> 5K but now gets muliplier of x1 per 1tx, capping at x15 -- this means its still a solid ship to chip away at even the Flenser
    • Burst fire reversed so it starts with the burst and then has cooldown
  • Fixed minor typo with the Drone Stockade

Zenith Miners

  • When the Miner ravages a planet, it now correctly updates the planet graphics
  • Zenith Miners are now 50% ravage planet, 50% completely destroy planet, so we can show off the awesome Ravaged Planet graphics more
  • Improve some miner tooltips
  • Miners will also appear on player planets later into the game
  • Miners will not revisit a Ravaged planet
    • There's nothing left to eat!

Zenith Architrave

  • The ZA civil war is no longer the default. You must enable the civil war for >= 2 ZAs in the game lobby to see this behaviour.
    • I'm worried that newer players (or those who skim tooltips) will enable >= 2 ZAs and get crushed by the Civil War in an unfun fashion. The Civil War is much more for advanced players I think. It's very different to everything else in the game, so this makes me think it should be opt-in.
    • The other major problem is for a player in a constricted map type (Snake? X?) who gets a home planet between two ZAs that enter civil war. If there happen to be no other paths between the ZAs, you could easily die without any counterplay.
    • Or if you took an MDC on a planet in a a choke point and the ZA comes through and kills it (or your defenses protecting it), that just seems unfun
  • To compensate for losing the civil war, ZAs in non-civil-war mode will be much more aggressively expansionistic once they take a few planets; the more planets they take the more Pioneers they spawn (to a max of 6).
    • The hope is that players are motivated to go and kill non-Territory spawners to prevent the ZA from overrunning their territory. Or they can hope the AI's spawned Exogalactic War Units will keep the ZA suppressed.
    • This is not quite as impactful as a civil war, but it should keep the player interested in engaging with the ZA.
  • This also constitutes a buff to a lone ZA (though the player could enable civil war for a single ZA to use the old pioneer spawning rate)
  • Crupellarii retaliation changed to a flat riposte of 50 damage at mark 1 from a 20% damage mirror
    • ZA phased Cestus were inheriting an auto self-destruct from their parent. Reworked to give this back its intended vampirsm.
  • New Zenith Architrave Cruiser! The "Spartacus" cruiser integrates the mysterious phasing properties common to the Architrave periodically phases to and from Multi-phase. In realspace, it is equipped with three phaser weapons, which all phase targets with no shields and low energy usage. Its spiderweb phaser has planetary range and only hits mobile targets, stunning their engines and reeling targets towards itself. Its ionized phaser is short range and designed to quickly wear down shields to enable the phasing effect. The phasion bombs it launches completely bypass the shield prevention but can be destroyed in flight. While in Multi-Phase, the Spartacus Cruiser switches to its vorpal beams that wreak havoc on weakened ships and launches phased Cestus drones that are permanently in Multi-phase.
  • The ZA Castras can now be hacked for ZA units, as well as the portal
    • The goal is to give the players more carrots to interact with the ZA; you can now build a giant fleet of ZA ships if you're willing to spend the hacking poitns
      • Suggested by zeusalmighty
  • The ZA can now have their civil wars turned off
    • This setting is on a per-faction basis, so you need to apply it to all of them
    • This means that the Non-Civil-Warring ZA will just expand independently of any other ZAs.
    • I know I will want to play some games with multiple ZAs, but without their giant impact on the galaxy during a civil war

DZ / Svikari Changes

  • Jormugander base damage from 10K to 12K (per beam)
  • New Dark Zenith Cruiser! The "Gungnir" Cruiser has a weaker version of the Jormugander's annihilator beam, but still incredibly powerful. It is also equipped with a harpoon launcher and a seeker bomb launcher, the former that can immobilize even the most massive of ships and the latter that sends slow accelerating projectiles that do devastating damage if not shot down in flight. The hull is made of an electrotoxic substance favored by the Dark Zenith that will instantly return feedback to the Gungnir's attackers, causing attackers to take damage proportional to the damage taken by the Gungnir.
  • some major adjustments to the DZ that need further testing. But the general idea is that the DZ's invasion interval was set super low so they were getting free ships every few seconds. This interval has been increased dramatically
    • Made some additional adjustments to go with the interval tweaking. Basically, lower intensities generally gain a larger initial invasion because their interval for ships is longer. They need to still be able to invade after all
    • DZ gain more epistyles/terminii with intensity. Shifting their power away from their initial invasion towards their infrastrucutre
  • AI Zenith Dragon Changes:
    • Chain lightning fires every second (instead of every 4 seconds). Now deals full damage to secondary targets instead of 20%
    • AI Zenith Dragon has new overlay as a chain lightning eye)
  • The fimbulwinter enable/disable setting is now a boolean toggle instead of a dropdown. Much easier to work with.
  • If the fimbulwinter is disabled, the DZ planets that warp in are not Fimbulwintered

Mod Updates

  • Mod Updates:
    • AMU:
      • The base types for Cruisers and Destroyers do not load unless DLC 2 (for Cruisers) and DLC 3 (for Destroyers) are installed, will no longer confuse the game into thinking that there are cruisers and destroyers are in the game to populate the Cruiser/Destroyer Construction Facilities.
      • Along with the bug of required_expansion_list not always correctly working this was causing MASSIVE slowdown and an exception at the start of the game if players had the Exotic Ships mod installed, rendering the mod effectively unplayable.
        • Thanks to cml, LordNSR and Charge for reporting, especially Charge who helped to debug this as I was entirely unable to get the error myself.
    • Kaizers Marauders:
      • Adjusted the Raid Seeker, Raid Carrier and Raid Blaster no longer inherit from AMU's Cruiser prototype, instead they now inherit from the Heavy Prigate prototype so the mod can work without DLC 2.
    • ExS:
      • Void Weavers now try to go into melee range to attack so they actually use their zombification in Multi-Phase.

2.905 Alien Homes

(Released May 11th, 2021)

  • Fix a bug with a yet-unwritten journal for Raid Engines
    • Thanks to GreatYng for reporting.
  • The shape of the ODSS icon has been adjusted to be more distinctive from the TSS, and neither rely on an overlay anymore.
    • Thanks to Zweihander2021 for reporting.
  • Fixes the music debug menu so that tracks the user switches away from are no longer deleted from the list
    • Thanks to GreatYng for reporting and Dominus for fixing.
  • Fix a bug where command stations that grant their turrets bonus attack power weren't correctly factoring in that bonus power when doing strength calculations.
    • This lead to the game woefully underestimating the strength of units on high-mark military command stations.
    • From a discussion with a number of people on discord

DLC 2

  • Make the DZ a bit more efficient at consolidating their initial invasion gains
    • Thanks to zeus for reporting
  • The icon for the Vengeful Sniper Array has been updated to no longer look so similar to the frigate icon.
    • Thanks to Zweihander2021 for reporting.
  • Planet visual definitions no longer have a do_not_randomly_seed="true" option.
    • Instead they have a sub_seed_tag="SomeText", which accomplishes the same thing but ALSO puts them into a group of planet definitions to randomly seed for whatever the occasion is.
    • This can be used by mods or otherwise to trigger specific planets for specific purposes.
    • Please note that each planet definition only can have a single tag. You can make copies of the definitions if you need them in more than one tag (which seems unlikely in the first place).
  • The same sub_seed_tag="SomeText" has been set up for "space boxes" (aka nebula sky backgrounds).
  • You can now call SpaceboxDefinitionTable.SetSpaceboxDefinitionByTag(), or PlanetDefinitionTable.SetPlanetDefinitionByTag() to have the host set the visual stylings for some planet's faction by whatever logic you want, and it will properly sync any changes to clients.
    • This can be called serially, every frame, because it basically looks for if the tag of the current thing doesn't match, then set it to one of those things that has a tag that is matching (if possible).
    • Hint to modders: you can actually look at the various spaceboxes that we have, or planets, and just pick a subset to copy with a given tag and then assign it like you see us doing for the DZ, ZA, and Dyson Sphere. You can then have a unique feel for your particular faction's space, whether you actually are creating original art or not. Maybe you always want really dark or light or blue or red or whatever type nebulas for a given faction, etc.
  • There is an IsRavaged property on planets now, so that when one gets ravaged it won't compete back and forth with any factions for what graphic should show. It will show ravaged.
  • There are now special nebula backgrounds assigned to all of the DZ and ZA territory in DLC2.
    • There are special planet graphics assigned to DZ plnets, and the ZA home planet in DLC2.
  • Planets that are ravaged by a Miner in DLC2 will now show it in a dramatic fashion. This includes ones from savegames prior to this build.
  • Added a new AddonObjectOrParticleFieldPrefab table, which will be used for defining secondary effects, including particle effects, for specific ships (like the Zenith Miner). The code is about halfway complete.
  • Big thanks to Puffin for the new backgrounds used for the DZ and ZA!

New Mod: Exotic Ships by SirLimbo

  • Added a new mod to the game: Exotic Ships.
    • This mod adds ships with both potent and complex mechanics, synergies and playstyles.
    • Even without DLCs a total of 17 new ships and new 6 starter fleets are available.
      • Mechanics involve ships that revolve around Forcefield Piercing, Gravitic Cores, Tractor-induced bonus Damage, Acid, Repair Beams, Norris effect, Shield Implosion, Structure/Ship-specific Weapons and more...
    • If DLC 1 is enabled an additional 8 ships and 4 starter fleets are unlocked.
      • Mechanics involve ships that revolve around Forcefield-induced bonus Damage, Damage Harmonics, Range Harmonics, Von Neumann, Drone Guns, Attrition, etc...
    • If DLC 2 is enabled an additional 12 ships and 4 starter fleets are enabled.
      • Mechanics involve ships that revolve around Shot Attraction Fields, Chain Lightning Guns, Classical Hydra-Head Spawning, Revenge-Firing weapons, Electrotoxicity, Chain-Firing Weapons, various State-Of-Matter changes, etc...
      • All of these ships, with exception of the FRS ship lines have lower chance to seed than normal. In general only about 50% the rate in Transports compared to all other ship lines, and in ARSs only 5% compared to normal ships, which equals 50% of ship variants. Thus Exotic Ships are quite rare. The exact quantity is up to chance and potential other mods which add ships, such as Extended Ship Variants.
      • In return these ships can be very powerful and have sometimes evil mechanics to exploit. The presence of 2 or 3 Exotic Ships can make tech investments worth that were not considered before and allow for new strategies and ship counters against all factions.
      • The starter fleets usually consist out only 3 lines: 2 Strike Craft and 1 Frigate. One of them is just 2 Light Frigates. However, due to the power of Exotic Ships they are not underpowered in the slightest.
      • In all likelihood a good number of games will be required to acquire and play with every Exotic Ship at least once.

2.904 Dragon Hotifx

(Released May 11th, 2021)

  • Fix a bug where the 'Hack an ARS' achievement wasn't firing
    • Thanks to Atia on discord for reporting
  • Three new Guardians from CRCGamer uniquely for Warden fleet usage are added to the game. They are currently only available to the DLC2 AITypes that get new ships (Beast, Gladiator etc...) for balance testing.
    • The intent is to give the warden fleet some unique and distinctive units like AIWC's riot fleet; these are Warden Fleet only ships.
  • Fix some outdated text for the Exotic Text
    • Reported by Atia on discord.
  • Turrets now self-build in 90s no matter their metal cost. Small turrets were built in 60s, large ones in 150s and a number of odd costs turrets were either faster or slower to build. This is no longer the case.
    • This time is unaffected by being on a hostile planet, and doesn't count engineer support.
    • Raid turrets build 2x faster than others turrets, so 45s self build. This no longer change based on their cost, which led some turrets like scrap to self-build in 20s, or makeshift in 15s.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adjusting.
  • Command Stations self-build times reduced to 20 from 60. Mostly a QoL change, so if you don't have Engineers around when blowing up a station, you have much less time to wait before you can queue buildings.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adjusting.

DLC2

  • Improve some DZ targeting to prevent them from charging off after some minor factions early game
  • Fix a bug with the new DLC2 dragons with DLC1 and DLC2 enabled

2.903 Journals For Miles

(Released May 10th, 2021)

Bugfixes

  • Fix a typo in the Cursed Golem hacking screen and the Botnet decription, as well as one in the Exogalactic War Unit tips
    • Thanks to GreatYng for reporting these
  • Exos should never be able to actually spawn using relentless AI wave logic anymore. Even if that is requested, the data should be self-correcting now. So this should never cause an exception that shuts down the AI faction, unlike recent builds.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for reporting.
  • Fixed several issues in AnalyzeFriendlyToHostileBalance() that could happen as cross-threading errors even in single player, causing the AI sentinels faction to shut down. This was quite rare.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage and GreatYng for reporting.
  • Experimental change: In order to avoid cross-threading errors in a proactive fashion, have added a new SpeedGroup.Dummy, which is basically the same as being null, but without actually being null. Rather than assigning to null when we are done with a speed group, we can assign to SpeedGroup.Dummy.
    • This does mean that in places where we are looking at speed groups to see if they are on, we now have to also make sure that IsDummy is false, but that is comparably rare and overall this frees us from the worry of having a null check on SpeedGroup be false in one line of code, and then in the next line of code it is suddenly giving a nullref exception because of the reassignment from another thread.
    • This is kind of the opposite of our usual approach to dealing with cross-threading exceptions, and it's an interesting initial case study on a fairly limited-use class. If things seem okay with this, then we could in theory make dummy planets, planet factions, factions, etc, so that we don't run into cross-threading NRE's from them and yet don't have to code so defensively all the time. We'll see.
  • Fixed an issue where if a flagship was crippled while in transport-load mode but did NOT have any ships inside it, then it would get stuck in that mode and the ships in its fleet would not respond to orders. If the flagship had ships inside it when it became crippled, then it would work properly, so this took some specific timing.
    • Thanks to aliyah for reporting, and Badger for figuring out what it was.
  • Fixed some cross-threading exceptions that could happen in AlterLODIfNeeded().
    • Thanks to zeus for reporting.

Multiplayer Fixes

  • Fix to the "InternalCreateActualShotForSalvo error at debugStage 4200" error on MP clients.
    • Thanks to Badger and his MP play group for reporting.
  • DumpFleetContentsIntoFactionLoose() is no longer allowed to be called on MP clients. It was possible for it to error sometimes, but even if it was not erroring, it was probably not doing the correct thing (because it was probably just missing some data in a transient fashion, and then mis-filing units).
    • When it comes to the fleets that were continuously losing all their information and then gaining it back, the client machines calling this method (even without errors) may have been a big part of the culprit.
    • Thanks to Badger and his MP play group for reporting.
  • DestroyFleetContentsAndWriteLog(), DestroyFleetContentsSilent(), RemoveAnyEmptySlotsPresent(), DespawnAllContentsFromSwap(), SetAllMembershipsUpFromDesignTemplate_FullCapOverwritingNotAdding_AssumeNoDuplicates(), InnerHelper_FillFromOneTemplate(), InnerHelper_FillFromDrawBagType(), InnerHelper_FillFromDrawBagType_FullCapOverwritingNotAdding_AssumeNoDuplicates(), and various things related to destroying extra units because of the count in place being higher than the ship cap are all no longer run on clients.
    • These are important things on the host, mainly for data correction and finding data that is stale for some reason (it matters in SP, too). But for clients, their data is often slightly stale, so acting on it will only make it worse. They'll find out real info from the host soon enough, if data is stale. They don't have the information needed to make corrections on their own.
  • Fix to the "BuildSidebar.OnUpdateDirectPlacement error at debugStage 8600" exception that could happen on MP clients.
    • Thanks to Badger and his MP play group for reporting.
  • Fixed the "BuildSidebar.OnUpdateDirectPlacement error at debugStage 2300" error that could happen on MP clients.
    • Thanks to Badger, Bummeri, KaleR, Jusa, and Exlium for reporting.
  • Fixed "DoShotHitLogic error at debugStage 2200" error that could happen on MP clients, although did so in a rather brute force way.
    • Thanks to Badger and his MP play group for reporting.
  • Fixed the "DoOnAnyDeathInCombatLogic_AfterFullDeathOrPartOfStackDeath debugCode 2100" error that could happen on MP clients, and which was mainly related to things that spawn on death of a parent unit, or stack handling, etc. Does not need to happen on the client.
    • Thanks to Badger and his MP play group for reporting.
  • The "During placement: fleetMembershipForType == null!" error is no longer a hard error, but rather just does a soft (invisible) log to the debug log. If we see this a lot, this is a problem, but this seems to be exclusive to some sort of client and host miscommunication right now, so we're just going to monitor it and not let it get in the way of other operations.
    • Thanks to Bummeri, KaleR, and Jusa for reporting.

Journal Enhancements

  • Journals can now be triggered when the player has forces on a planet with a specific unit type (using only XML). There are two classes of these entries, "normal" and "high priority".
  • High priority entries are always played immediately (AI Eyes, etc).
  • Normal Priorities are throttled to play once every 30 seconds, though this throttling can be undone (or modified) by changing a single C# value.
  • The High vs Normal priority is because I was concerned that a new player who starts adjacent to a planet with a TSS and ARS will be overwhelmed by immediately getting 3 journal popups ("How to deal with Guards", "How to deal with an ARS", "How to deal with a TSS"). If we wall-of-text someone immediately it's not great.
  • To make a unit emit a Journal entry, you take the unit type XML you want to have a journal entry for and apply the following fields:
    • journal_name_to_play_on_player_encounter # xml field with the name of the journal entry you want
    • journal_high_priority # xml field with 'true' or 'false'. This is for high Priority entries
  • New beginner journal about AI Eyes.
  • New beginner tips for how to spend science beyond just the tech tab!
  • Added is_blocked_from_triggering="true" as an option on journal entries, so that if we have ones that are defined by the programmers, but don't have text yet, we can put them in place without them firing with placeholder text.
    • Currently applied to:
      • Orbital Mass Driver
      • ARS
      • TSS
      • Guard Units (as a concept on an enemy planet)
      • Threat (high) (when there's a ton of enemy threat)
      • Threat (low) (when there's a some enemy threat, but not a ton yet)

Game Balance

  • Nerf to shot attraction range of Bulwark turrets from 6000 to 3500.
    • Unfortunately as a small turret type that is readily available the amount of coverage these were giving was too generous. And certain structures protected by entire nests of these were far more durable than the AI could reasonably deal with at lower AIP. Thus certain baits were a bit *too* effective.
  • Minor stat adjustments to the Dragon (now called "Spire Dragon" to distinguish from the "Zenith Dragon" that appears in response to the Dark Zenith invasion)
    • armor 140-> 350mm; energy 15K-> 150K; mass 7tx -> 11tx

DLC 2

  • Add some defensive code to the ZA Civil War
    • Reported by a number of testers
  • Fix a null reference exception when hovering DZ units in a wave
    • Thanks to donblas for reporting
  • The Geneticist AI type now has more of its scourge units vulnerable to zombification
    • This way zombifying player units are more useful against it. Playing Zombifying Starting Fleet into Geneticist was awful
  • The Spire Hammer AI type has had a unit rebalance
    • Thanks to crcgamer for the changes

DZ / Svikari Changes

  • Seeker bombs now increase in stats per mark, but base damage decreased significantly. Jormugandr's seeker bombs now start at mark 7.
  • Jormugandr now has regeneration -- repairs to full health in 30 minutes (from 1 health)
  • Exo strike directed at Jormugandr from 500 -> 350 strength at all intensities. Jormugandr shouldn't be killed by these but should take a considerable amount of damage (and then repair in time for the next one)
  • Merkismathr time before phasing increased from 20 -> 30 seconds. It was just able to avoid too much damage and getting too much value out of its ambush bonus
  • Nerfed electoxic effects of guardian tier units and up
  • Jarl will be more likely to spawn a Dreng before killed
  • DZ 10 exostrike every 20 min (up from 15)
  • increased time of Jormugandr rampage on diff 5 and up
  • Significant improvements to how efficiently the DZ distribute its resources
  • In the Dark Zenith Difficulty xml, the game can specify how many "Anti-DZ Dragons" will be spawned when the DZ invade. The lore is that the AI is strengthening itself against the new DZ incursion.
    • The Zenith Dragon has a powerful chain lightning attack instead of the coilbeam, as well as a weak (5%) elecotoxic retaliation
    • The player should need to take risks and reach a higher power level in DZ games. If they can just quickly snipe the AI to avoid dealing with the DZ (and thus not actually experience anything not in the vanilla game), that's as not interesting.
    • From a discussion started by Strategic Sage

ZA Balance changes

  • The ZA now has a new XML setting for its Difficulty; MaxSpawnerMarkLevel
    • Requested by zeus
  • adjusted the new "max mark level of spawner/portal" for each intensity.
    • Intensities 1-4 cap at mark 4.
    • Intensities 5-6 cap at mark 5.
    • Intensities 7-8 cap at mark 6.
    • Intensities 9-10 cap at mark 7 (so really, no cap)

Spire Hammer AI type changes

  • Significant balance changes to Spire ships utilized by Spire Hammer AI type overall these should make the smaller standard Spire ships utilized by this AI feel less like paper tigers.
    • AI Spire Frigate changes:
      • Strength multiplier removed
      • Base health raised to 90000 from 35000
      • Base shields raised to 45000 from 18000
      • Base damage reduced to 7500 from 15000 per shot
      • AI purchase price raised from 1000 to 2250
    • AI Spire Destroyer changes:
      • Strength multiplier adjusted from 1.4 to 1.2
      • Base health raised to 200000 from 70000
      • Base shields raised to 100000 from 35000
      • Base damage reduced to 25000 from 40000 per shot
      • Damage multiplier of 3x against large targets adjusted to kick in at 5tx instead of 7tx. This means the bonus is far more generally applicable against players since normally only command stations and centerpieces of the player meet the previous threshold.
      • AI purchase price raised from 1800 to 5500
    • AI Spire Fortress change:
      • Strength multiplier of 2 added. This thing does a disgusting amount of damage at high range with a coilbeam and was under-representing how dangerous it actually is.
  • Thanks CRCGamer for the above changes!

Mod Updates

  • AMU:
    • Now has a new Rollup for all DSAAs.
    • Fixed some bugs in AMU's Faction Allegiance management:
      • No matter whether or not the faction has a team, is allied to any Player or any AI the FactionAllegiance now also correctly saves all other data (such as allied to players, AIs, traders, etc). In theory simply always saving the RelatedFactionOrNull would be enough, but this way it forward-fixes any other potential exotic faction allegiance states causing trouble.
      • Tested out these changes and found out that this Marauders in a test case would STILL go hostile to the player if Kaizer was present, even when they have no reason to.
      • Fixed another bug in the SmartFactionImplementation where Allegiances would always be overwritten even if correctly serialized. This was a leftover from when the OnDeterministicThreadOnly_DoInitialLogic function would happen BEFORE deserialization.
        • Both of these combined now fix Kaizers Marauders in games with Kaizer present going hostile-all-except-other-kaizer-allied after loading a save, even when they shouldn't.
        • Unfortunately saves with broken allegiances cannot be repaired because the required data just wasn't stored. They won't fail to load, but allegiances are permanently wrong.
        • It's still not a good idea to trust your Marauder allies...
          • Thanks to LordNSR for stumbling upon and reporting this.
      • The variable TeamIsMinorFactionTeam is now correctly renamed to IsInAnyTeam. This was no bug, but simply false.
    • The DynamicAveragingRing now is serializable and inherits from SuperBasicSerializable.
      • It has saveAverageOnly (required in constructor). If enabled the DAR will only save the average value, which is much more efficient in data size. If disabled it will save every single variable contained and be as correct as possible.
      • Note that only the same save-style DAR can be loaded.
    • Executor Work:
      • Fixed a number of bugs for OnAnyDeathExecutors_HostAndClient and their tracing.
      • Added a new OnSpecialActionExecutors_HostAndClient using the new DeterministicSpecialActionExecutor.
      • Fixed the ExecuteOnlyOnce mechanic not actually applying anywhere, it was simply forgotten to implement it.
    • Fixed a few bugs in AMU's wrappers for Factions, Planets and Planet Factions where all of them could not serialize them being null. I'm honestly surprised that didn't crash everything sooner.
    • The Global Variable Overwriter now uses the above logic for better performance:
      • Instead of executing the code at game start and once per second it now executes at game start and whenever the settings are changed. This means it'll be much more efficient.
  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • Using the new DSAA Rollup from AMU Player-allied Marauders will now target any hostile DSAA that doesn't produce AIP on death. Non-Player-allied Marauders will target any DSAA.
      • Thanks to LordNSR for noticing that Marauder units were targeting the Raid Blaster, Kaizer had the same problem (his credit was missed in the last patchnotes, sorry). This is stage 2 of the adjustment.
    • Changed the wording in the Galaxy Settings from Kaizers Marauders (Multi-Planet Settling and Healing Allies) to be more clear, and correct English (hopefully).
      • Thanks to LordNSR for reporting. This must've been written in one tired night...
    • Fixed (Warping-In) Marauder Capitals mentioning GCAs.
      • Thanks to LordNSR for reporting.

2.902 Rather Refined Ghosts

(Released May 8th, 2021)

  • At the bottom of the quick start menu, and the campaign lobby, there is now a Campaign Type field.
    • This only lets you choose Humanity Ascendant, but it explains about the upcoming Expert and Deathwish modes. For now it does not mention Sandbox.
  • In the Planet sidebar, there's now an option to show your allies Fleets under Watched/Local fleets
    • This option is only available in multiplayer
    • Being able to track what all your allies are doing can be very useful, especially for more experienced players helping newer players
  • Add a 'select all engineers' hotkey. This is unset by default
    • Suggested by JordanK and aliyah
  • Add an 'Advanced' option to the Dark Spire preventing them from spawning Loci.

Help For New Players

  • Add a few tips of the day from Discord.
  • "Advisor" journal entries are now "TIPS" journal entries, and are shown with a bright light blue color regardless of what your faction color is, for maximum visibility.
    • We really want new players to notice when there's a new contextual tip for them, and not mistake it for being bossed around or for other info that might not be pertinent.
  • The hacking tab tooltip now says "Hack Target At Planet" rather than "Hack Enemies," since you might hack allies or even your own stuff (generally your stuff is from a different screen, but that's not always going to be true.)
    • It also says "Hacking is done with flagships at the same planet unless otherwise specified. Some very powerful hacks are done on your own fleets, in the fleet details window on the fleets tab."
    • Thanks to Vincent for inspiring this change.
  • In the tooltip for hacks, it already specified what kinds of ships could do the hack for every given hack (they're all flagships of some sort, but it really does vary a lot).
    • This information is now shown in a bright green color, and has been reworded to be more concise and clear.
    • Thanks to Vincent for inspiring this change.
  • Improve the spire campaign first journal entry to press upon the reader how dangerous it is.

Balance

  • Carrier Guardians, Shredder Guardians, and Teuthida Guardians are now disallowed from spawning in waves. These are all drone-producers that can wind up being far stronger than the wave warning would lead you to expect.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for suggesting, and aliyah for reporting the initial problem.
  • A number of balance adjustments to starting turret counts on some of the battlestations and command stations.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB and CRCGamer for sorting this out.

Bugfixes

  • Add some defensive code when deploying a wave composition
    • Thanks to slake-moth for reporting
  • Exos are no longer allowed to use Relentless Waves; if they use the Relentless Wave faction then they don't behave like Exos, but do behave like waves
    • If we want the ability to summon waves like we do Exos, that should be it's own thing, and I for one thing it would be useful.
    • This was causing a number of code paths to drop a mini-wave instead of any exo, like hacking. Buff the exo response to hacking as well, since it was very low.
  • Fixed a very weak memory leak that could happen when you were reloading all the data types (changing expansions or mods that are enabled, but not restarting the game) in entity order pools.
  • Recoded the way "ship to ship lines" are drawn from one to another, which improves performance and also fixes a rare memory leak (that was becoming less rare), and which was a huge amount of code to the point it makes me nervous. Once this seems not-glitchy in our internal version, then we'll probably do a day of beta just to be sure. Depending on how solid it seems.
    • Overall this is great for performance, and it has a major positive effect on how correct and impressive chain lightning looks, too.
  • Fixed a rare exception that could happen in CopyShortTermFramePlanningDataIntoSim and absolutely kill the simulation until it was restarted. Not sure how new this was.
    • Thanks to Tzarro for reporting.
  • Improved the efficiency of ship-to-ship lines that occur on distant planets in all cases in MP, and for non-weapons cases in single player and MP.
  • Fixed a cross threading bug that could occur in the Dark Zenith when they were trying to move to a harvester but the harvester died or was removed. It now tries once more and then just gives up until next cycle if that's going on.

Multiplayer Fixes

  • With the build sidebar open in multiplayer, it was apparently possible to get some errors as a MP client on an AMD machine. We unfortunately have not fixed it, but we have put in instrumentation to localize the error's impact, find out where it is further (with the next user report on BuildSidebar.OnUpdateDirectPlacement errors), and then move to a full fix once we have that added info.
    • Thanks to Aidalee, Vincent, Bummeri, KaleR, and Jusa for reporting.
  • Fixed the cross-threading "DoEntitySecondLogic for LogisticalCommandStation debug code 161" error that could happen on MP clients. We had gotten all of them in that method but missed this one.
    • Thanks to Aidalee and Vincent for reporting.
  • Likely fixed the "Error in PerFrame_CalculateEffectiveFleetData, debugStage 800" exception that could happen on MP clients, but if not it is at least much better instrumented and all the obvious possible causes are fixed.
    • Thanks to Bummeri, KaleR, and Jusa for reporting.
  • HandleTransportsSim for the DZ no longer gets run on MP clients, as that was able to cause exceptions and was also not needed in the first place.
    • Thanks to Bummeri, KaleR, and Jusa for reporting.
  • Fixed a few dozen potential (but rare) cases where tooltips could error on MP clients if the client hovered over a unit at just the wrong time.
    • Thanks to Bummeri, KaleR, and Jusa for reporting.
  • ConvertEpistylesToPirate for the DZ no longer gets run on MP clients, as that was able to cause exceptions and was also not needed in the first place.
    • Thanks to Bummeri, KaleR, and Jusa for reporting.
  • HandleUpgrades for the DZ no longer gets run on MP clients, as that was able to cause exceptions and was also not needed in the first place.
    • Thanks to Bummeri, KaleR, and Jusa for reporting.
  • Fixed "DoEntitySecondLogic debug code 161", which could happen on MP clients.
    • Thanks to Bummeri, KaleR, and Jusa for reporting.
  • Put extra instrumentation into InternalCreateActualShotForSalvo() to isolate MP cross-threading errors, and put in defensive code for the most common possible cases.
    • Thanks to Bummeri, KaleR, and Jusa for reporting.
  • Fixed a major longstanding client-side bug in multiplayer where two copies of a ship/structure/unit could be created by mistake, and this led to lots of client confusion and ghosts and explosions of not-ghosts and so on.
    • Essentially what was happening is that sometimes the general-purpose client sync data was getting there before the "fast blast" data, which was not something I expected would ever be possible... but is. By simply making the fast blast data check to make sure it doesn't already have this entity (and thus update that one versus creating a duplicate), this fixes the bulk of the problems.
    • A few other changes in general were noted, including having the clients now log how many ghost suspects they have asked sync information for, and how many ghosts they have busted. We actually tried a few different things to mitigate ghost suspects, but it still winds up accidentally busting too many ghosts. So as it is, we wind up with more ghost suspects than we would prefer, but it should be in a place where it's not actually busting any invalid ghosts (and hopefully it finds no ghosts at all).
    • If you see a bunch of ships on a client get destroyed and then reappear, please do let us know!
    • Thanks to Bummeri, KaleR, Jusa, borisgrebenshchikov, Lictuel, Pringels, Sergie, Zweihander2021, and Liorik for reporting.

DLC 2

  • Add more defensive code for the Wormhole borer notification
    • Thanks to Zweihander2021 for the bug report
  • The ZA can build a max of one Castra per planet
    • At zeus' request
  • The DZ can now use the RequiredIntensity XML setting on a DZUpgrade to restrict it based on faction intensity.
  • Adjusted Phantasmal Host Frigate icon and shorthand from heavy to medium. Its actually a light armor hull but it generates frigate sized decoys.
    • Thanks to Tzarro for pointing out disparity.

DZ / Svikari Changes

  • Coerl alebdo 0.4 -> 0.7 (it has cloaking)
  • Intensity 1 changes
    • BaseInvasionStrengthPerPlanet: 15000 ->5000
    • BaseExoStrength="500000" BaseExoInterval="3600" -- A big exostrike 500 str every hour. Too frequent, I fear the DZ would get crushed invariably except if the exo strike was super weak, which would just get insta killed by the Jormugandr.
  • Intensity 2 changes
    • BaseInvasionStrengthPerPlanet: 13000 ->6000
    • BaseExoStrength="500000" BaseExoInterval="3300" -- A big exostrike 500 str every 55 min.
  • Intensity 3 changes
    • BaseInvasionStrengthPerPlanet: 14000 ->7000
    • BaseExoStrength="500000" BaseExoInterval="3000" -- A big exostrike 500 str every 50 min.
  • Intensity 4 changes
    • BaseInvasionStrengthPerPlanet: 12500 ->8000
    • BaseExoStrength="500000" BaseExoInterval="2700" -- A big exostrike 500 str every 45 min.
  • Intensity 5 changes
    • BaseInvasionStrengthPerPlanet: 12500 ->9000
    • BaseExoStrength="500000" BaseExoInterval="2400" -- A big exostrike 500 str every 40 min.
  • Intensity 6 changes
    • BaseInvasionStrengthPerPlanet: 13000 ->10000
    • BaseExoStrength="500000" BaseExoInterval="2100" -- A big exostrike 500 str every 35 min.
  • Intensity 7 changes
    • BaseInvasionStrengthPerPlanet: 13500 ->11000
    • BaseExoStrength="500000" BaseExoInterval="1800" -- A big exostrike 500 str every 30 min.
  • Intensity 8 changes
    • BaseExoStrength="500000" BaseExoInterval="1500" -- A big exostrike 500 str every 25 min.
  • Intensity 9 changes
    • BaseExoStrength="500000" BaseExoInterval="1200" -- A big exostrike 500 str every 20 min.
  • Intensity 10 changes
    • BaseExoStrength="500000" BaseExoInterval="900" -- A big exostrike 500 str every 15 min.
  • Tier 1 (Guardians) requires 3 variant upgrades (eg., tier 0 sinister)
  • Tier 2 (Dire Guardians) unlocked at intensity >=5 and requires 6 variant upgrades
  • Tier 3 (Golems) unlocked at intensity >=6 and requires 10 variant upgrades
  • Mark 2 requires 1 variant upgrades
  • Mark 3 requires 3 variant upgrades
  • Mark 4 requires 5 variant upgrades
  • Mark 5 unlocked at intensity >=5 and requires 7 variant upgrades
  • Mark 6 unlocked at intensity >=6 and requires 9 variant upgrades
  • Mark 7 unlocked at intensity >=7 and requires 11 variant upgrades

ZA Balance changes

  • Replaced the ZA Cestus self-damaging attack with health_change_by_max_health_divided_by_this_per_attack="-1" so it always kill itself
    • thanks Puffin for pointing out the mix up!
  • Marking up of portal/spawner was 600 seconds at all intensities. Now, intensity 1 is 1200 and each intensity is 100 secconds fewer, maxing at 600 seconds at intensity 7+
  • "WarIntervalForStrengthIncrease="X"" tripled (20 ->60) at intensity 1, 10 seconds reduced per intensity until capping at 20 seconds (default) at intensity 5
  • "TimeBetweenTerritoryIncrease="X"" increased intensities 1 - 6. Intensity 1 20 -> 30 min, and 100 seconds fewer with each intensity until intensity 5 (900s ->1200s). Intensity 6 700s ->900s. The rest are 600 seconds (default)
  • Greatly increased the time before pioneers can spawn at intensity 1-3 (now 2 hours at 1, 10 min less per additional intensity), and a minor increase at 4 (now 1 hour)
  • "ExcessSpawnersToTriggerOtherArchitravesToAttackMe="X"" has basically been inverted. Intensity 1 went from 2->5 while Intensity 10 from 5->1. Basically, the lowest intensities will for all intents and purposes, never trigger a civil war (except in marathon games maybe). Intensity 10 should be triggering civil wars in most games

Mod Updates

  • AMU:
    • Now has a new Rollup for all DSAAs.
    • Fixed some bugs in AMU's Faction Allegiance management:
      • No matter whether or not the faction has a team, is allied to any Player or any AI the FactionAllegiance now also correctly saves all other data (such as allied to players, AIs, traders, etc). In theory simply always saving the RelatedFactionOrNull would be enough, but this way it forward-fixes any other potential exotic faction allegiance states causing trouble.
      • Tested out these changes and found out that this Marauders in a test case would STILL go hostile to the player if Kaizer was present, even when they have no reason to.
      • Fixed another bug in the SmartFactionImplementation where Allegiances would always be overwritten even if correctly serialized. This was a leftover from when the OnDeterministicThreadOnly_DoInitialLogic function would happen BEFORE deserialization.
        • Both of these combined now fix Kaizers Marauders in games with Kaizer present going hostile-all-except-other-kaizer-allied after loading a save, even when they shouldn't.
        • Unfortunately saves with broken allegiances cannot be repaired because the required data just wasn't stored. They won't fail to load, but allegiances are permanently wrong.
        • It's still not a good idea to trust your Marauder allies...
          • Thanks to LordNSR for stumbling upon and reporting this.
      • The variable TeamIsMinorFactionTeam is now correctly renamed to IsInAnyTeam. This was no bug, but simply false.
    • The DynamicAveragingRing now is serializable and inherits from SuperBasicSerializable.
      • It has saveAverageOnly (required in constructor). If enabled the DAR will only save the average value, which is much more efficient in data size. If disabled it will save every single variable contained and be as correct as possible.
      • Note that only the same save-style DAR can be loaded.
    • Executor Work:
      • Fixed a number of bugs for OnAnyDeathExecutors_HostAndClient and their tracing.
      • Added a new OnSpecialActionExecutors_HostAndClient using the new DeterministicSpecialActionExecutor.
      • Fixed the ExecuteOnlyOnce mechanic not actually applying anywhere, it was simply forgotten to implement it.
    • Fixed a few bugs in AMU's wrappers for Factions, Planets and Planet Factions where all of them could not serialize them being null. I'm honestly surprised that didn't crash everything sooner.
    • The Global Variable Overwriter now uses the above logic for better performance:
      • Instead of executing the code at game start and once per second it now executes at game start and whenever the settings are changed. This means it'll be much more efficient.
  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • Using the new DSAA Rollup from AMU Player-allied Marauders will now target any hostile DSAA that doesn't produce AIP on death. Non-Player-allied Marauders will target any DSAA.
      • Thanks to LordNSR for noticing that Marauder units were targeting the Raid Blaster, Kaizer had the same problem (his credit was missed in the last patchnotes, sorry). This is stage 2 of the adjustment.
    • Changed the wording in the Galaxy Settings from Kaizers Marauders (Multi-Planet Settling and Healing Allies) to be more clear, and correct English (hopefully).
      • Thanks to LordNSR for reporting. This must've been written in one tired night...
    • Fixed (Warping-In) Marauder Capitals mentioning GCAs.
      • Thanks to LordNSR for reporting.

Mods

  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • Reduced the Albedo of the Raid Blaster (and its derivatives) and Kaizer in all his variants and states from 0.9 to 0.85, meaning that the ships will no longer be targeted by the Mark 3 DSAA.

2.901 AIP Reduction Clarity

(Released May 6th, 2021)

  • Ship lines should now be sorted by strength in a number of places in the UI (hovering a flagship, the Fleet management window, etc)
    • Thanks to mahisev350 for the suggestion
  • The Swap Ship Lines UI only shows the player name if it's not you
    • Suggested by x4000.
  • In the event that an AIP reduction event does not actually reduce the AIP, it now explains "AIP Floor was hit! Reduction will apply more later as AIP rises. Current floor is: X"
    • Additionally, the AIP Never Reduces Below Amount is now shown on the same line of the AIP tooltip as the AIP Floor, so that it can't be missed. That was super easy to miss before.
    • And finally, the reported AIP floor now factors in the AIP Never Reduces Below Amount, versus looking like you SHOULD be able to reduce further and then mysteriously not being able to (unless you happen to read lower in the tooltip).
    • Thanks to The Main Man, MrButtermancer, Zeus, Strategic Sage, Badger, Lailah, and others for this discussion.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed a bug in the prior version where the new "Planet not to path through" underlay was throwing an error rather than showing.
    • Thanks to GreatYng for reporting.
  • Previously, you could get around the claim cost of a fleet leader by hacking to transform it. Now you can't hack to transform anything that is not yet fully claimed, or which is still partly under construction.
    • Thanks to Darkshade for reporting.
  • Fixed a general waste of performance where a lot of galaxy map display stuff was being calculated even when you were looking at the planet view. We discovered this quite by accident in fixing an MP bug, but this was a performance drain in solo play as well.

Multiplayer

  • There was a nonsensical failure to send a planet's data via multiplayer, but via code review all looks well. So this must be some sort of special case issue that we need to narrow down more. We've thus inserted 8 network canaries into the planet sync code, which will help us find the specific area in which the problem (which is apparently quite rare) occurs.
    • Thanks to Bummeri and their MP group for reporting.
  • In the multiplayer client, the "ghost check" code previously was deleting any units that it had not heard from the host about for 4 seconds' worth of sim cycles. This was working some of the time, but when there were too many ships it would cause periodic deletions and recreations of units, which was definitely bad.
    • One of the chief problems with ghosts is that they are not centrally registered on the client, so the host can't get in there and update them to say "you are okay" or "you are dead."
    • After 1 second of not hearing from the host, a unit on the client now ensures that it is centrally registered. This should keep it from being missed for updates and divergence checks. If it is dead on the host, we should find out in the next cycle.
    • After 8 seconds, now, if it still doesn't hear from the host then it gives up and suicides. This should be long enough for the very shortest sim cycle.
    • Thanks to Liorik, Bummeri, goodjoe696, and others for reporting. This was a tricky one!
  • Substantial update to how loading and unloading transports are handled in multiplayer. This gets rid of the bulk of the lag that clients were experiencing with this, as well as ship counts going crazy on the client in the fleet display as ships were shuffled in and out.
    • Essentially some of the fleet data just needed to be synced over at the same time, and the client needed to not do a few things that are host-side-only.
    • Thanks to Bummeri, goodjoe696, and others for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen on MP clients, where essentially if a fleet was updating at just the wrong time, it could cause an exception in trying to draw its info on the galaxy map.
  • Fixed an issue in MP where clients could get exceptions when ships transformed from one form to another.

DLC2

  • DZ Terminii now explicitly list the name of the resource they have for pickup (like 'We have 500 Izumite') instead of just '500'
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for reporting
  • Add a new Community quickstart, 'The Devouring Badger'
  • DZ: add the ability for an upgrade to prereq a certain number of ship variant upgrades.
    • Requested by zeus for balance purposes

2.900 First Press Build

(Released May 6th, 2021)

  • Rejigger the timing of the Beginner Journals to try to prevent 4 from firing at once (which I saw). That's overwhelming.
    • If this isn't enough then we can put a beginner journal specific timer in instead to say "Only one beginner journal every X seconds"
  • Hovering ARS and TSS on the galaxy map now shows the tech lines for its available ships in Full Detail tooltips; this matches the behaviour for uncaptured flagships for a consistent experience
  • The Placement screen at the top right now reminds you of the metal costs.
    • It shows the base metal cost, then the 5x, 10x and 50x metal costs, for unobservant people like me who don't remember how much things cost, and would like a chance to easily see if I can afford to build 10 of something
  • Holding 'Alt' with units selected will now remind you what hotkeys exist to control just those units
    • Turns out there are hotkeys to control Melee units only, flagships only, units with tractors only, and a bunch of other things, but I can never remember them. Now it's easy to check!
  • Factories and Engineers always auto-build by default
    • Every player I know would turn them on immediately, so having them off at game start was just a n00b tax. The 'you should automate' beginner journal entry now appears for people who don't have auto-build defensive ships
  • The beginner Next Steps journal has real advice now
    • Thanks to Sage for this advice.
  • Hive Golem now has Greater Metabolism in the base game, as otherwise it got both standard and greater version with DLC2 update.

Tutorial Updates

  • It is now possible for planets to have "travel advisories" that block either player or NPC movement into those planets via wormholes, or block all of the above.
    • This can only be turned on via tutorials at the moment, and we have these set on most tutorial planets to prevent the AI from coming to help its smaller planet in late tutorials, and to prevent players from going too far into AI territory and dying in the tutorial in any of them.
    • Tutorial 1, nobody is allowed to leave any planet, you or the AI.
    • Tutorial 2, NPCs can't use any wormholes, and player is not allowed to go to Farland or Sidelander.
    • Tutorial 3, NPCs can't use any wormholes, and player is not allowed to go to Farland.
    • Tutorials 4 and 5 are blocked to NPCs on all wormholes, but let the players do whatever, including going to Farland and getting killed.
    • Thanks to LarryP for reporting it was possible get killed in the early tutorials.
  • Also for tutorials, we added a ne destroy_all_metal_harvesters="true" option.
    • This makes it so that in tutorial 3, on Sidelander, we can have all the harvesters (which take a long time to capture now) not get in the way of capturing the transport.
    • Essentially this was super slow now even on speed 5x.
  • Tutorial 3 now has some notes on how to speed up time, and about how to play in a fast-but-with-period-pausing playstyle.

Balance: Turret Simplification

  • An UI-focused update making turrets count far more intuitive.
    • The impact has been kept to a minimum, but this still has a number of implication. Particularly for starting turrets.
  • Turrets count in TSS reduced from 15 to 10 for small, 3 to 2 for large.
  • Defensive caps increased:
    • Battlestations: from 0.7 to 1.0
    • Citadels: from 1.4 to 2.0
    • Home Command: from 1.33 to 2.0
    • Economic: from 0.25 to 0.4
    • Logistic: from 0.48 to 0.8
    • Military: from 1.15 to 1.6
  • Starting Pike turrets now scales with Defensive capable.
    • Econ: 4, Logi: 8, Mil: 16, Home:20. This should balances "overpowered" Econ planets, now they no longer have a 4x cap on pike for free.
  • Starting Ambush and Beam turrets remain the same on mil. (32 and 3).
  • Starting Tachyton, Tractor and gravity generator counts have been adjusted. This changes little.
  • Minefields counts have been updated. This changes little.
    • Including DLC2 ones. (Zeus)
    • But not modded ones.
  • Station Keepers numbers have been adjusted to reflect Defensive Cap, they didn't before which increased confusion.
    • This concerns Watchman and Assault Station-keeping frigates.
  • Thanks to ArnaudB for making these changes!

Mod Updates

  • Update to MSD balance based on shifting base game balance
    • Turret counts available via TSS normalized to 10.
    • Escort Carrier count available by default to Economic reduced to 3.
    • Artillery Destroyer count available by default to Economic reduced to 1.

2.899 Almost Press Build

(Released May 5th, 2021)

  • Updated graphics for the Zenith Trader are now in place in the base game. We'll be doing a number of updates to base-game Zenith golems to make them fit with the new art style for the race as introduced in the upcoming expansion, but most of that art will be coming after the expansion itself releases.

Balance Updates

  • In galaxy advanced settings:
    • Number of maximum Data Centers increased from 6 to 9.
    • Number of maximum Major Data Centers increased from 2 to 3.
    • Number of maximum Distribution Nodes increased from 6 to 9.
    • These changes give back the ability to ease the game, which should particularly be welcome given DLC2 is likely to bring in new players.
      • This feature was appreciated by newcomers before, and it felt frustrating to have three sliders whose sole option was to make things harder for the player.
      • Bear in mind that in the future modes that are more for experienced players (Guerilla Warfare and Deathwish in particular), we'll maintain very strict limits for balance. But this main widest-appeal mode (to be called Humanity Ascendant in the future) we want to make sure as many people can comfortably enjoy as possible.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating this.
  • On difficulty 9 and 10, the hunter fleet will be even nastier about going after MDCs

UI Updates

  • Add beginner journal entries teaching players about watching flagships, and queueing unload orders for their flagships. These are very important techniques for good play.
  • Add a journal entry when the AI Overlord transforms explaining the mechanic
    • Thanks to Miloch for pointing out some potential confusion.
  • The escape menu now shows the personal settings and galaxy options on a single line, to make them less easy to miss (in terms of them both being there, and similar but different).
    • The escape menu has moved View/Edit Factions much further up, to a place of high visual priority.
    • The escape menu now has a "Visit Us On Discord" button, because frankly that's the best place to get tips and community advice for the game these days if you don't know exactly where to head on youtube, etc.
      • The discord tooltip in this menu, and on the main menu, now have a tooltip explaining that it's the best place to go for tips and similar, and that the forums are basically dust-catching now.
  • In the More section on the main menu, the links to the forums (which are almost dead now, because of discord) have been removed.
    • We also removed the link to our mailing list, as we don't really actively manage that anymore (though it does still exist), because it's not typically a way people want to hear from us.
    • And lastly, we removed the link to the wiki (which you can still get to by just clicking the patch notes button anyhow), because other than for patch notes our wiki is basically in the game rather than on our site. The fewer options that people have to look past that don't matter, the better.
  • The in-game credits for DLC2 have been greatly expanded to properly reflect everyone's role. This team has grown in 2021 for this particular project!
  • When you have set a planet to be a no-path-through zone, it now shows a red and black octagon around it on the galaxy map to remind you of that.
    • Thanks to Badger for suggesting.
  • On full tooltips, hovering a neutral flagship will show the techs that upgrade each of its ship lines next to that ship line.
    • The goal is to make it easier to figure out what synergies that flagship has at a glance, without c-clicking.
    • This is also explained in a Tip of the Day
  • When hacking an ARS, holding Ctl will show the techs that upgrade those ship lines for easier synergy determinations

Utility Updates

  • Fixed a mapgen bug that was interfering with properly starting up the Test Chamber.
  • Fixed another bug in our camera code that would cause it to not work properly if there was only a single planet (aka the Test Chamber), so its dynamic zoom could not properly kick in.
  • The "reload select bits of xml" function (default F8) now works again for the first time since the XML Import overhaul. We haven't needed it until now.
    • It now works with lod_distance_overrides, size_scale, visuals_scale_multiplier, gimbal_name_extra_offset_y, and gimbal_icon_size_multiplier.
    • Also now with y_offset_of_icon, y_offset_of_ship_in_visual_space, y_offset_of_ship_emission_and_hit_point, rotation_x_of_ship, and rotation_z_of_ship fields.
    • These are all the things we tend to need when setting up a new DLC's art, or in the design of mods, but it serves little purpose beyond that.
    • We've actually never before had the capability of altering quite this many of them all at once, so this is a very nice improvement!
  • Added a new lod_distance_multiplier, which lets us adjust the LODs for our graphics in a multiplicative form (as they are scaled up or down) versus having to completely redefine them.
  • The test chamber no longer tries (and fails) to do autosaves.
  • The spawn requests from all expansions and mods are now all combined in a single test chamber, rather than it only taking the most recent one.
  • Test chamber data now also gets reloaded as part of the F8 function.
    • However, it does not restart the test chamber itself.
  • When you are in the test chamber, you can now hit the button to load the test chamber again, and it will reload it. It won't always actually show the ships, so you may have to click that a couple of times. But this is for modders and developers only, anyway.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed a puzzling issue where a hack could get into an invalid state and be unable to close itself down. It was in the process of trying to fail, but missing some of the metadata, so unable to finish wrapping up. These now properly fail, but don't log their hacking event since that was the part that was missing.
    • Thanks to goku454545 for reporting.
  • Fixed a couple of rare cross-threading issues that could happen with ships moving between planets and the AI thinking about it in the background and then having a nullref exception.
    • Thanks to Darkshade and Badger for reporting.

Mod Updates

  • Kaizers Marauders / Extended Ship Variants
    • Removed or replaced the icon overlay for any entity using Overlays1/Spacedock_Mobile. It seems this icon was removed entirely.

2.850 Icons, Targeting, And ODSS

(Released May 4th, 2021)

  • Increased numbers of sectors from 2 to 3 in the ODSS (how many times you can hack it)
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adjusting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen in Astro Trains when they wanted to spawn a wave but were not doing so for some reason.
    • Thanks to goodjoe696 for reporting.
  • Add a Tip of the Day telling players that they can queue unload operations
    • Thanks to a conversation with aliyah on discord
  • Waves against Marauders now use the smaller of current AIP and Marauder's AIP when calculating anti-marauder wave size.
    • Marauders often wind up with really high AIP, so this should be a nerf to the AI response to the marauders (especially player-allied)
  • Shot/damage logic fixes/improvements:
    • Fixed multiple cases of shots being fired twice onto the same target, or damaging the target twice if they shouldn't:
      • As it turns out the game would allow weapons with sufficient shots to attack the same target in the TargetPriorityList twice if it was not overkilled from the first shot.
        • Now the weapon shifts targets it attacks that weren't already overkilled to the front of its target priority list and, in the 2nd loop where it seeks for targets that are overkilled starts to look for targets at the end of this "already fired upon" sub-section.
        • This should actually speed up the sim a bit because the game no longer wrongfully creates multiple shots for the same target or even check them.
      • The same bug was possible for the main attack target and the FRD attack target, which have also been excluded for double-fire.
        • Also the weapon chooses a new main attack target or FRD attack target from its target list it'll now remove them from the list so it won't even get the chance to iterate over them again. This should, again, improve performance by a small bit.
      • Point Beam Weapons (such as the Hunter Seeker's Mass Destabilisation Beam) were actually hitting targets twice, once in the actual shot and once more in an AoE damage instance that should not exist with point beams.
        • The game now automatically sets shots_detonate_immediately to true for point beam weapons to limit the damage instances to 1 only.
    • Fixed a number of "abnormal" sources of damage (electrotoxicity, attrition, etc) being limited in the amount of stacks they kill per damage instance.
      • Especially the Nidorian Toroid was limited to killing off 1 unit per stack. So no matter the target's durability it could at best kill a stack of 100 enemies in 100 seconds.
    • Added new max_attrition_damage and added_max_attrition_damage_per_mark for ships dealing attrition damage. This limits the amount of attrition damage per tick they are allowed to do and scales with both fleet attack power and hacked attack power just like the attrition damage itself. If both is 0 there is no limit, which is the default.
      • For now the the Nodorian Tortoid is limited to dealing a base 100k + 25k/mark level attrition damage per second. Compared to before this is a hefty nerf, but in raw DPS it is still very significant, and counteracts the ship eating stacks due to the fix from above. This means that only upon targeting more than 1250 enemies at once the limit will be in effect at all.
      • Attrition damage will not spread equally among targets but focus as much as possible. This is to prevent it from having the same flaw old Siege Frigates had in splitting damage among so many targets it never actually kills anything.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for all of these improvements!

Mod Updates

  • Yet another attempt to stop civilian industry raids from appearing. Though at this point they don't cause much performance issue.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adjusting.
  • AMU:
    • The AMU base entities for Light/Medium/Heavy Frigates, Destroyers and Cruisers now use their new icons. This will trickle down to multiple entities in Kaizers Marauders and Extended Ship Variants.
  • AMU
    • Fixed a small but nasty bug in the DynamicAveragerRing that would cause the sum of all averages to be wrong and ending up doing the opposite of what it's supposed to do.
    • This would lead to horrible hitches in Kaizers Marauders when planets had tons of defenses on them.
    • Planets with this type of build-up will likely lagg a few times after loading a save, but the hitches should grow less and less severe and eventually all but disappear.
      • Thanks to Sorrydough for reporting and testing the fix.

Icon Work

  • All of the icons for DLC2 are now in place! This increases the total number of icons in the game by about 50%, it's actually pretty crazy. But it's all contextual, don't worry.
  • The Astro Train Station icon has been updated to look like a lot less literal train station.
  • The Scourge (DLC1) now show a little icon overlay on units that are in the process of warping in.
    • This is now consistent with us doing that for a variety of units in DLC2.
  • The Scourge (DLC1) now have new fancier icons for denoting each of the races that are primary to the warrior that they have produced.
  • The TSS and ODSS now have much larger overlay icons that are also colored, in order to make them easier to tell apart. Previously they were just tiny little black smudges to differentiate them, at the scale you tended to see them.
  • Reworked the Frigate icons again. They were too complicated in their recent version. But at least not BOAT.

2.816 Frigate Icons And Tuning

(Released May 1st, 2021)

  • Several adjustments to D-SAA entities
    • Added an icon overlay to make them a little more obvious.
    • Made the v3 versions on Bastions and AI Homeworlds display on the galaxy map.
    • Nerfed the detection speed a little.
    • Removed FRD non-attention from base level of D-SAA since the most basic tier has no AIP attached.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for adjusting.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed a typo of parasite hydra being hyrda.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for fixing.
  • Grand Salvage displayed name was blank for some reason. This is now fixed.
    • Thank Abuchris on discord for the report, and ArnaudB for fixing.
  • Fixed a bug where if stacks were killed entirely, with enough damage remaining to potentially kill even more stacks the game overestimated the amount of damage, leading to wrong amounts of electrotoxic return damage among other things.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for finding this, following it down the rabbit hole, and fixing it!
  • Did another change to stop AI raids from bothering Civilian Industry faction
    • Apparently some players still have raids on a single planet at a time. Please report saves when the raid is announced or about to launch. Assuming you still have them after this fix.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for fixing.
  • AMU / Kaizers Marauders:
    • Fixed a couple of places where the wrong DoForPlanets was used, bugging things out.
      • Thanks to LordNSR for reporting.
  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • Fixed their capital ships not having short names set up and inheriting "CC AMU Base".
      • From a screenshot of LordNSR.
  • Fixed an issue where minefields were showing up in technology unlock strength comparision as ship, not defense. Among other places.
    • Thanks to donblas for reporting, Badger for the fix, and CRZgatecrusher for verifying the fix.
  • Fixed some cross-threading bugs that could happen in the GetSelectionContains() methods in some circumstances.
    • Thanks to Zweihand for reporting.

Icon Work

  • The frigate icon has been updated to look better, and have variants for light, medium, and heavy frigate classes.
    • It no longer looks like a boat, which is... really nice! ;)
  • New icon update conventions, this creates a TBD for modders in general, too:
    • The existing Frigate icon (Ships1/Starship) is now what we would consider a medium-class frigate. Right now we're only using that for the PFFL ones, and things like outguard flagships.
        • All existing frigates will default to this, which is fine for now, but differentiation is probably good to do.
    • There is also a new FFL icon (Ships1/Starship_Light), and a FFH icon (Ships1/Starship_Heavy).
    • We do actually have a first FFM (medium class frigate) in DLC2, the minelayer, and this also uses the default icon.
  • If you have been designing Elites (cruisers or destroyers) for your mods for DLC2, then you'll want to use the new icons for those.
    • Ships2/Cruiser and Ships2/Destroyer.
    • If you're making alien cruisers or destroyers (like we have for the Spire in DLC1, then carry on with whatever you were using before, probably).
    • All of the existing DLC2 cruisers have been updated to use the new icon, and we don't have any destroyers yet.

2.815 Polishing And Bugfixing

(Released April 30th, 2021)

  • Bastille Turret updated: it's now a long range turret firing burst of missiles for a good amount of damage. It cannot fire at close enemies. It still retains the 4x dmg multiplier.
    • The dps stated is wrong. It has about 2700 dps with the 4x bonus, instead of 1500 dps before the bonus as is shown.
  • Either way, this should make it more compelling and unique to take, rather than an uninteresting and generally useless turret.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.
  • The ability to have one or more arbitrary underlays under planets on the galaxy map has been added. This is for use with things like certain planet statuses in DLC2.
  • Added a new DoOnSpecialEvent_OnMainThread() that can be overridden on any faction, and which gets called on various UI-related events.
    • These mostly are related to settings windows being opened and closed or saved, etc. The purpose is for certain mods to be able to hook into those screens better.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for requesting.
  • The way that planet icons are drawn on the galaxy map has been upgraded by a surprising amount. We're able to put more information in there now.
    • We're currently able to show status changes to planets, such as "Nomadic" and (the mysterious) "experiencing Fimbulwinter," and later can do more things with that. It's not very mod-friendly yet for being extended, but it's great for our immediate needs.
    • Additionally, the AI Homeworld and Bastion worlds now have different colored borders paired with interiors that are filled with a specific image. This is along the lines of how your own planets show the kind of command station you have chosen on them, and the intent is to aid in visibility for those worlds.
    • We also have new stylings for the Dark Zenith and the Zenith Architrave, which is important in the latter case in particular because the ZA might be occupying a planet but not consider that part of its innermost territory. The difference is now distinct at an immediate glance, as well as being in the tooltip. The ZA will murder you on certain planets that it considers to be its own, and is much more lenient on planets that it might have just snagged from someone else.
    • This whole process took far longer than expected, but it's a good launching point for us to be able to do increasing numbers of things in the future, and allow for modders to do the same at some point (not yet, but later).

Bugfixes

  • Update to The Reprocessors mod by CRZgatecrusher.
    • The wrong one was applied two versions back.
  • AMU / Kaizers Marauders:
    • Fixed a number of outdated methods to fit with the most recent version of the AIW2 codebase. Should have no functional impact.
  • Updated AI Shield Generators mod by cml to match current code requirements.
  • Previously, if the client in MP had incorrect wormhole data, then they would get tons of "Was looking for a wormhole on the far side of X" messages spamming their log HARD. This message now only shows up on hosts.
    • Ideally we obviously fix the wormhole issue on the client, but the first part of this is to make sure that it doesn't cause lag and log spam if it does break. After all, the host will handle the wormhole traversal fine, so it's possible for clients to not even notice that things are off.
    • Thanks to Bummeri, Kalervo, and Jusa for reporting.
  • MP clients no longer try to directly move nomad planets. The odds of them coming up with the same result was extremely low.
    • Thanks to Badger, Bummeri, Kalervo, and Jusa for reporting.
  • Fixed an MP issue that could happen with Zenith Miners on MP clients in ModifyMinersIfNecessary(). This is now just run on hosts.
    • Thanks to Bummeri, Kalervo, and Jusa for reporting.
  • Added a new Network_HostOnly_NeedToSyncPlanetPositionAndLinksAndWormholesToClients that should be set anytime the host moves a planet, destroys it, or changes around its links. This is set in a variety of places now relating to nomads and miners and even the dark zenith.
    • In those situations, it then does something it does not usually do, which is resend all of the wormhole connections to the client, which then should be up to date. This is untested at the moment.
    • The planet positions it turns out are already updated, as is the planet destroyed status, but the wormholes were the lagging element.
    • Thanks to Badger, Bummeri, Kalervo, and Jusa for reporting.
  • In savegames or lobby settings where for some reason the relentless wave subfaction is not tied properly to a specific AI faction, it now works to rebuild that in a sensible way if it can, or just chooses the first AI faction if it can't. This should solve the errors resulting from it either way, and the worst case should be that if you were having a civil war and it didn't get the optimization perfect, one side might have an edge over the other.
    • Thanks to Isiel for reporting.
  • FINALLY managed to fix a longstanding bug that has eluded me for years, where sometimes the tooltips were insanely thin for some reason. We never could figure out the proper conditions to make it happen, it sometimes seemed OS-specific, and often fiddling with settings made the problem go away for users.
    • It turns out that to reproduce the problem, your general tooltip scale had to be set to exactly 1.0, and you had to restart the game and then it would be messed up until you changed it to something else. If you changed it back to 1.0 without restarting, it would still be fine (until your next restart).
    • The general problem is that we have a "last scale" stored in a few variables, and it was set to 1. It doesn't do certain calculations over if the last scale is the same as the current scale, but it definitely needs to do these calculations at least once after starting the game! We have changed these "last scale" variables to start at a much more reasonable -1 (meaning nothing could ever match it), which means that it's not possible to trigger this problem anymore.
    • Big thanks to Maluraq for their help in finding this, including sharing a video of it in action so that we could walk through what turned out to be the steps to reproduce it.

Beta 2.814 Hotfix For Murder-By-Powerup

(Released April 30th, 2021)

  • Add group selection modifier to only select turrets, unbound by default.
    • Thanks to donblas for adding.
  • Fixed a couple of exceptions that could happen in the human faction, shutting it down, if there were no ARSes or neutral transports out and about to capture when the game wanted to give you a journal message about that.
    • Thanks to CRZgatecrusher and donblas for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug that was very old, but actually just started expressing itself yesterday because a DIFFERENT old bug was keeping it at bay until yesterday (when I fixed that bug). That is odd enough in and of itself, but the result was actually hilarious, so let's see if I can do it justice.
    • Essentially, all of those "not owned by anybody" units (transports, golems, etc) were being mistakenly given ownership to the AI of the planet they were on. These are supposed to be the capturable goodies that you go out and collect, recall.
    • Because of the unintentional ownership change during mapgen, these things turned on and went into destroy mode. A few minutes into any new game, and every capturable that was supposed to be out there for you to collect at some point... would come murder you instead.
    • Nintendo added poison mushrooms that chase Mario and kill him, but this is some next level revenge of the powerups, I have to say.
    • Thanks to donblas for being the original recipient of this, and CRZgatecrusher, Metrekec, Ovalcircle, CRCGamer, Strategic Sage, and others for reporting.

Beta 2.813 Golem Relations

(Released April 29th, 2021)

  • Fixed an issue where we were filling and then never using a list called EntityIDsWaitingAgainstThisPlanet<>, and in the new parallel loop code for it, that was causing exceptions in some savegames. This has simply been removed, as it was a pointless waste of CPU at the best of times, and now also an exception on top of that.
    • Thanks to slake-moth for reporting.
  • [Journal] Right clicking entries marks that as read.
    • Thanks to donblas for implementing!

Balance

  • Nerfed ticket value of Interplanetary Engineers to not be obnoxiously in almost every ODSS rotation.
  • The TSS now grants 4 turret lines to choose from, up from 3 last build but still down from 5 the build before that. Happy middle ground.
    • Thanks to Zeus and Strategic Sage for suggesting in response to the rumblings of others.

Spies

  • Nerfs to spies. They now are a Markless entity and have been rebalanced around what was a Mark III spy previously.
    • On top of that they are now only a single spy per military and two per logistic command without getting extra copies for being marked up happening.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for updating.
  • Implemented D-SAA structures that will scan for and reveal player spies. These come in several different versions. The higher tier versions unmask spies considerably faster, and in the case of the v3 which only shows up on Bastions and Homeworlds also sports a gun to very quickly remove the offending spy.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for coming up with this and implementing it!

Officers

  • Officers in general no longer come with fleet ships along for the ride. It's no longer limited to just the early officers.
  • AIP costs of capturing golems have been reduced, and their energy has been increased.
    • Armored Golem AIP 20 -> 16, energy 50k to 200k.
    • Artillery Golem AIP 15 -> 12, energy 50k to 200k.
    • Regenerator Golem AIP 15 -> 12, energy 50k to 200k.
    • Cursed Golem AIP 15 -> 12, energy 50k to 200k.
    • Botnet Golem AIP 40 -> 25, energy 50k to 400k.
    • Black Widow Golem AIP already 11 since early officer, energy 50k to 150k.
    • Hive Golem AIP 20 -> 15, energy 50k to 200k.
  • AIP costs of capturing arks have been reduced, and their energy has been increased.
    • Rorqual Hegira AIP 8 -> 7 even though early officer, energy 7k to 100k.
    • Thanatos AIP 10 -> 9, energy 7k to 100k.
    • Gyrn, the Voidhome AIP 10 -> 9, energy 7k to 100k.
    • Orchid AIP 8 -> 7 even though early officer, energy 7k to 100k.
    • Ark One AIP 8 -> 7 even though early officer, energy 7k to 100k.
    • Belle Prime (DLC1) AIP 10 -> 9, energy 7k to 100k.
    • Great A'Thomek (DLC1) AIP 10 -> 9, energy 7k to 100k.
    • Nodorian Tortoid (DLC1) AIP 10 -> 9, energy 7k to 100k.
    • Sol Ater (DLC1) AIP 10 -> 9, energy 7k to 100k.
    • Grand Salvage (DLC1) AIP 10 -> 9, energy 7k to 100k.
  • AIP costs of capturing lone wolves have been reduced, and their energy has been increased.
    • All three lost spire frigate variants AIP 15 -> 11, energy 15k to 250k.
  • Thanks to Strategic Sage for starting the discussion on the energy costs being way too low, and Zeus, Lord of Nothing, and others for suggesting refinements.

Base Game Updates

  • The game is now way more explicit about when it is in the middle of mapgen or not. You can call a variable right on the Mapgen class to find out if that's the case, now.
    • During mapgen, GetControllingFaction() on planets now uses much more complicated logic that is based around a lot of mapgen-specific logic, which means that things are correctly attributed and units that are intended to be seeded "belonging to the planet owner" now properly do that instead of belonging to no one.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for reporting.
  • In the event that you load an older savegame into a new one that has different energy balance, if it dropped your net energy below zero, you're now given a free handicap of extra energy to not wreck that campaign.
    • This is logged into your debug log, and then you can also see it in the tooltip for energy at the top of the screen.
    • The idea here is that we do need a free hand to be able to rebalance energy at times, but we don't want to be wrecking existing games as we do so. And modders frequently have the same sort of needs.
    • With this, if we or modders need to make changes, the game will just automatically help you out and keep your existing saves from becoming unplayable due to brownout.
  • Add hotkeys to build 1/2 and 1/3 of total capacity of some structure when you hold the hotkey and click in a spot, default unbound.
    • Thanks to donblas for implementing this!

Mod Updates

  • Civilian Industry: now no longer creates AI raids. The performance drops from those were too much. This means the faction is essentially "free". The AI gets nothing to counter it.
    • For the future: instead use a variant of the wormhole invasion to create a similar AI response against civilian.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adding this in.
  • The Reprocessors mod by CRZgatecrusher has been updated to the latest code standards.

Multiplayer Improvements

  • Fixed an inversion of boolean logic with Network_FrameToStartAnyProcessing on ships, which may have been one cause of ghosts; it's hard to be sure.
  • Updated multiplayer clients to track how long it has been since they have heard from the host to be based on the number of sim cycles rather than using realtime OR game time.
    • Doing it via gametime would have adverse effects with regard to the fact that things take realtime. But using realtime like we had been doing had adverse effects if the simulation got paused for a bit waiting on something. For instance, we don't want a temporary network outage to cause the client to suicide all units and then have to rebuild them.
    • The method of using sim steps as the count (each one is approximately 100ms) lets us be far more granular with our checking, because we know that communications must be open for these to be progressing, and yet it is also game-speed-independent.
    • Based on this, all the things that say "it's been x amount of time since this unit was touched by the server" are based on this metric rather than actual realtime (which is what it was before).
    • Also based on that, we now have it set to murder ghosts after 4 seconds, rather than 60 seconds (curiously, it actually turned out to usually be 64 seconds.
    • Thanks to Bummeri and greyhoundgames for reports in this area.
  • Fixed a cross-threading exception that could happen in particular on multiplayer clients.
    • Thanks to KaleR for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen in DoBailOutChecksIfWasJustCrippled() after units were crippled on MP clients, even if you were not using bail out code.
    • Thanks to KaleR for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen when trying to unload transports on MP clients. This again is something that just needs to be run on the host in the first place.
    • Thanks to KaleR for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen during AOE damage calculations on MP clients.
    • Thanks to KaleR and Jusa for reporting.

Beta 2.811 Brief Beta For Balance

(Released April 28th, 2021)

  • Took a quick moment to add a new DoForEntitiesParallel() set of methods, which are centered mainly around wide-spanning "reset or prepare all the things for something that's coming."
    • This is something that should add quite a bit of performance to a few specific areas of the game, but it's really not something to use if you don't know exactly what you're doing in the code. This is the warning label.

Balance

  • Balance Changes
    • Fixed description of dire forcefieled guardian to say units protected by the shield do full damage (instead of only half)
    • Added a 2.2 strength multiplier to the Shredder Dire Guardian -- its strength value was wildly underestimating it because its drones weren't considered
    • Usurper metal cost 12,000 -> 100,000
    • Tier 1 exgalactic unit energy increase 15K -> 50K
    • Tier 2 exgalactic metal cost 2M ->5M; energy increase 15K -> 75K; armor thickness 180 mm -> 245mm
    • Tier 3 exgalactic metal cost 2M ->6M; energy increase 15K -> 100K; armor thickness 180 mm -> 350mm (except Jackalope); mass 8tx ->12tx
    • Tier 4 exgalactic metal cost 2M ->8M; energy increase 15K -> 250K; armor thickness 180 mm -> 350mm
    • Flenser metal cost 2M ->10M; energy increase 15K -> 1M
    • Thanks to Zeus for adjusting.
  • When they are spawned (they always spawn as "early officer fleets"), the following arks and golems no longer have any ship lines included with them:
    • Black Widow Golem (also had AIP capture cost reduced from 15 to 11).
    • Ark One (also had AIP capture cost reduced from 10 to 8).
    • Orchid (also had AIP capture cost reduced from 10 to 8).
    • Rorqual Hegira (also had AIP capture cost reduced from 10 to 8).
    • This lets you keep the option to get a golem or Ark early in the game, but without a giant mass of other ships coming along with it.
    • This doesn't stop this early officer from being stupidly overpowered in most real games, but it does keep there from being such an abundance of extra ship lines right away.
    • This really wasn't exactly what Strategic Sage had in mind when we discussed this, since the golem/ark itself was what was so overpowered, but that's something we'll deal with in a different fashion.
      • On difficulty 6 and down, we are continuing to seed these exactly as we have up until now (within 1-4 hops of a single player homeworld), since this is indeed quite a big boost and is a great early introduction to the game.
      • On difficulty 7+, we are now seeding these "early officer" fleets 6-16 hops away from any of the player homeworlds. This makes them still a presence in the game (and an interesting and inexpensive item you can pick up), but not an early-game power-maw.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for the discussion that led to this (among many other things that are coming soon).
  • The ARS now gives 3 strikecraft ship lines as options, rather than 4. Still 1 frigate ship line.
    • Similarly, the TSS now gives 3 turret options rather than 5.
    • And the ODSS now gives 3 other defensive options rather than 4.
    • The idea here is to prevent not quite so overwhelmingly many choices, especially when you consider how many ARSes and TSSes and so forth are actually out in the galaxy in general. This is a very small trim in the main, but it should make things less overwhelming as well as preventing these ship lines from being so devalued from being so common.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for the discussion that led to this.
  • The "Mark 2 will automatically be reached for the AI if you have at least 10 strength outside of transports on one of their Mark 7 worlds" now only applies to difficulty 10.
    • Similarly, the "Mark 3 will automatically be reached if you have at least 10 strength outside of transports on their homeworld" also only applies to difficulty 10.
    • Anyone who is playing difficulty 10 is looking for a rough time in general, and there are various ways to attempt to lobotomize the AI by keeping the AIP so incredibly low that the AI barely gets to act. That's not really a normal game at all.
    • Additionally, when this new mechanic was introduced, originally it was to spare players the angst of trying to keep their AIP below the threshold where the AI marks up. The reasoning was that if players did not have that stress point, then they would just freely use the AIP up to the threshold for mark 4 of the AI, and have a more interesting and dynamic time because of it.
    • However, what was actually happening in midlevel and low-level play is that this was essentially outlawing low-AIP gameplay styles, in favor of mid and high AIP styles. For difficulty 10, it makes sense to go ahead and keep this in place because difficulty 10 is its own beast, but for the whole "don't want people to stress about the mark-up thresholds" side of things, that argument just hasn't really held water over the long term, and it invalidated some play styles without meaning to.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for the discussion that led to this change.
  • Regular engineers can no longer seed in the ODSS. You'll only get the interplanetary variety, now (which are better). This should also solve the issue of having multiple groups of engineers clogging up the ODSS. However, please do let us know if you do still run into (freshly rolled) situations of too-many-engineers.
    • Thanks to donblas for reporting.

Bugfixes

  • In the event that something causes a ship to change states of matter, and that ship has a "forced to always be state of matter" that is not the default (realspace), then when that ship returns to "normal" it will now return to what it is "forced to be" instead of realspace. This should solve a variety of edge cases for unusual units.
    • Thanks to Zeus for reporting.
  • Adjusted things so that non-human factions can never have the crippled status on their units. So even if a human-style golem gets added to an AI (as was happening with some DLC2 golems and the Gladiator AI type), you'll never run into them being immortal crippled gods. This seemed like the most expedient way to fix the issue, especially when thinking about mods that might make the same sort of error. Just make it not an error.
    • Thanks to Zweihander2021 and Zeus for reporting.
  • Fixed a bug where certain types of golems being added to the AI could wind up having a little fleet of their own, whereas they should have been "just another AI unit."
  • If mapgen can't seed something really close to a specific faction despite wanting to, because of not finding a planet of that faction, it will now throw a visible error during mapgen. It also does a better job in general of trying to find such planets, though. This should hopefully solve the occasional mystery of why one player in multiplayer doesn't have an ARS near them.
  • Made a few of the lists and dictionaries from ArcenSimContext obsolete, and require developers/modders to use [ThreadStatic] local variables for those ones instead.
    • This actually helps to solve a few bugs where we could run into more threads than expected sharing one of these variables and thus running into a problem.
  • Related to the above, a variety of methods for counting planets or iterating over planets no longer require a context to be passed in, and the version that did is marked as obsolete.
    • Here again this lets us avoid some cross-threading problems that were rearing up lately.
  • Fixed a rather funky exception that could happen inside of DoForPlanetsWithinXHops() at random times, but most particularly within mapgen.
  • Put in a variety of defensive code to prevent any exceptions in GetIsPlacementPointSafe().
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for reporting.
  • Put in some defensive code to catch any exceptions in UpdateDataForPlanning().
    • Thanks to Zeus for reporting.
  • Fixed "When Crippled: Bail Out To Nearest Friendly Planet" to properly have text saying that it defaults to off.
    • Thanks to Smidlee for reporting.

DLC2 Mechanics

  • On ship systems, you can now define a inflicts_state_of_matter_on_target_for_seconds="60" or whatever to inflict a certain state of matter on any units that are shot by that system for a certain amount of time. You specify which kind of state of matter with state_of_matter_for_target_to_become="MultiPhase" or similar.
    • This allows for ships to throw other ships into solo or multi phase states, as desired. Either taking them out of the battle for a bit, or bringing them to a secondary battlefield where they can be throttled for a while.
    • Thanks to Zeus for requesting (for DLC2).
  • Added a new cannot_inflict_state_of_matter_if_target_has_any_shields_up="true" option for those same sort of ship systems, which makes it so that if the ship had any sliver of personal shields in place when the shot impacts, it will not cause the change in state of matter.
    • Thanks to Zeus for suggesting for DLC2 mechanics.
  • Added cannot_inflict_state_of_matter_if_target_has_energy_usage_of_at_least="3000" (or whatever number) for those same sort of systems.
    • For this, if the number was set to 3000, then any ships with 3000 energy usage or more would not be affected by this phasing change. Any with 2999 would. Any ships with 0 energy usage will always be affected no matter what.
    • If this field is omitted, then all targets are affected.
    • Thanks to Zeus for requesting for DLC2.
  • Added a new must_be_this_state_of_matter_to_be_enabled="MultiPhase" (or whatever), and a companion care_about_state_of_matter_to_be_enabled="true" for systems of any type (NOT just weapons! Can also be tachyon or tractor or whatever).
    • If the latter is true, then the desired state of matter must match that of the ship itself. So if the ship is currently in multi-phase, this gun turns on. If it's in normalspace, it turns off. Or vice-versa, as you prefer.
    • As noted, this can be used for all sorts of systems, so there's a lot of flexibility there.
    • The care_about_state_of_matter_to_be_enabled="true" might seem redundant, but it's way more efficient to check, and easier to override in copy_from children.
      • So that must_be_this_state_of_matter_to_be_enabled attribute is just completely ignored unless care_about_state_of_matter_to_be_enabled="true", which is nice.
    • There is also a new is_invisible_in_tooltips_if_not_a_match_by_state_of_matter="true" that you can turn on, which makes the systems invisible when the ship is the wrong state of matter to be using them. Otherwise you can see the system all the time, but just with the note "this only works if the state of matter of the ship is X" on there.
    • Thanks to Zeus for requesting for DLC2.

Base Game Mechanics

  • Added tachyon_hits_albedo_more_than. This can be used on its own, or in conjunction with tachyon_hits_albedo_less_than.
    • The tooltips adapt to show less than or greater than or a specific range, as needed.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for suggesting.
  • There is now a new auto_seeding_on_planets sub-node that you can put on units, that specifies what planets they should be placed on, and what chance they have of being placed on planets of that sort.
    • Please note that this is something that is to be used sparingly, because for each unit, it is evaluated individually rather than as some sort of pool. So these are mainly for fixtures that should have a decent chance of being a part of any given planet matching the description.
    • There is a planet_type attribute on this, which must be one of the following:
      • None, Mark1, Mark2, Mark3, Mark4, Mark5, Mark6NonBastion, Mark7NonHomeworld, AIBastion, AIHomeworld, PlayerHomeworld.
    • There is then a chance_of_seeding attribute, which should be an integer number between 0 (no chance) and 100 (always seeds on every matching planet in every game).
    • Please note that, as with resource_production nodes, these are cleared and start fresh when you move to a copy_from, but they are retained with "parial record" modifications.
    • At the moment, the only possibility when seeding these is that they seed belonging to the same owner as the planet they are seeding on. If we need to get more complicated than that later, we can do so.
    • This is currently untested, as we don't have any units to seed using this yet, but the format would be like this:
      • <auto_seeding_on_planets planet_type="AIHomeworld" chance_of_seeding="90"/> if you wanted to have a 90% chance of seeding a given unit somewhere on each AI homeworld.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for suggesting.

2.810 Hotfix for Death

(Released April 28th, 2021)

  • Fixed a bug in the prior version where ghostbusting was being so thorough that it was actually preventing things from dying to remains, or being crippled, on hosts and single player machines. The "deep scrub ghosts" logic now only applies on multiplayer clients, and if it gets a bit overzealous and scrubs something too much, the host will be along to fix that very soon after.
    • It's possible that if this leads to brief visual artifacts on the client in an ongoing fashion (that remains to be seen), that we could make this specifically exclude things that die to remains or things that are crippled rather than dying, etc. We'll need more MP testing feedback to know if that's required or not.
    • Thanks to Democracy, donblas, bahrman, and psychophilosopher for reporting.

2.809 Self Optimization

(Released April 27th, 2021)

Balance

  • Balance adjustment for Space Planes and Mirage strikecraft
    • Damage reduction value against distant foes reduced from 99% to 90%
    • Base health doubled from 1200 to 2400
    • The Mirage had its strength multiplier value raised to 2 from 1.6 to account for its shield ignoring damage which quickly disposes of most system defenses when deployed in large numbers.
    • The Mirage had its AI purchase price raised from 15 to 18 to match the price of the Space Plane the base variant. The more dangerous version being cheaper was leading to some gargantuan sized stacks in games with particularly bad RNG for the player.
    • Both ships should now be much closer in estimated strength value to their actual impact since a 99% damage reduction effect against fixed defenses that cannot close distance basically made even a simple mark one stack of ~60 ships have over seven million effective health. Now that same mark one stack would only have about a million and a half effective health. These ships are still quite dangerous if you don't have a nearby fleet or specific counters handy, but shouldn't chain wipe multiple systems on their own.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for adjusting.
  • Adjusted Expatriate Tech cost scaling
    • Previously was 2000, 2750, 5000, 7500, 10000 science cost.
    • New adjusted costs of 1000, 2500, 4000, 5500, 7000.
    • Makes grabbing a few ranks to improve HRF unlocks or Outguard easier to swallow while the final two ranks are still an expensive splurge.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for adjusting.

Performance

  • Updated the central DoForPlanets() type methods to now have a SingleThreaded and Parallel variant for each one.
    • The parallel versions are able to run on a ton of threads at once, and are way more efficient. However, there are very strict rules about how they are allowed to touch data. If you're a modder (or developer) for the game, and you don't fully understand what you're doing with this aspect of threading, then always just choose singlethreaded. It's slower but safer.
    • So far, we've used the parallel variants in a few places that should dramatically speed up a few areas of code that were previously bottlenecks in really large galaxies, or with lots of battles going on.
    • There are more places where we could use this, but those would take some refactoring to port over for various structural reasons, so we'll just handle those as they become pain points.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed a couple of cross-threading exceptions that could happen in Base_StrengthData_PlanetFaction_Stance even in single-player on suitably multi-core machines.
    • Thanks to abuchris for reporting.
  • Silenced a pointless "Null ArcenShot InstancedRenderer" error that could happen in ReactToShotHittingSquad() in certain cross-threading instances. Originally we had that code in place to make sure there were no problems, but now it's definitely pointless.
    • Thanks to abuchris for reporting.
  • Fixed a few more cross-threading issues that could happen in GetEnergyUsage() and similar on units.
    • Thanks to abuchris and Bummeri for reporting.
  • Fixed a pretty huge mistake in GetEnergyUsage() where if it could not find the fleet membership, it was using the shield amount of the unit rather than the energy cost of the unit.
    • It's likely that this was never really being hit, because the fleet membership should always be there except when something is in the middle of teardown anyhow, but still oof.
  • Fixed some more cross-threading issues that could happen in DoEntitySecondLogic_FromSimBGThread().
    • Thanks to abuchris for reporting.
  • Fixed a cross-threading exception that could happen in CalculateSpeed(), more likely in MP than SP, but possible in both. Also sped up this method for stationary units in general.
    • Thanks to abuchris and Bummeri for reporting.
  • When the count to spawn on death is set to zero, it no longer throws an exception warning you of this when that type of unit dies. This makes it possible to override that field on copy_from children in the main game or in DLC or mods.
  • If count_to_spawn_on_death is zero, then the "on death, will spawn" part of the tooltip won't show. This is very useful for when we are using copy_from and then forking a unit to not spawn something on death.
    • Thanks to Zeus for reporting.
  • Fixed a number of rare cross-threading bugs that were possible inside of the shot visualizer.
    • Thanks to slake-moth for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen in GetNumberOfTimesHacked() after a number of hacks were performed on various units.
    • Thanks to Therival for reporting.
  • DoOnFail_CalledFromMainSimOnly() now has very granular exception handling, and will report problems that it has in a sub-area, as well as not actually breaking the entire flow if just part of it goes wrong.
    • Thanks to greyhoundgames for reporting.
  • Fixed some cross-threading issues that could happen with hacks that were in the middle of being failed throwing exceptions. (It's possible that these were things that also had a success but then were triggering a fail at the same time for some reason, but both should be fixed now).
    • Thanks to greyhoundgames for reporting.
  • When a TSS or similar has too-few items to grant, that should now auto-repair itself just like the too-high case does. This is untested so far, so please let us know if that's not the case.
    • Thanks to Metrekec, ArnaudB, GreatYng, and others for reporting.

Multiplayer Improvements

  • In the event that a given unit on a multiplayer client has not gotten any updates from the host for a full 60 seconds, have it just suicide itself.
    • This is a very long timeout, but we want to make sure that this does not kick in by accident if at all possible. Brief interruptions in network connectivity, or a particularly difficult load of ship syncs to cycle through shouldn't be able to accidentally trigger this, is the goal.
    • That said, in the context of 4-5 hour gaming session, or even a 20 minute gaming session, this should hopefully act as the ultimate end-stage "goalie" to catch any client ghosts that sneak through in any other fashion.
    • Thanks to abuchris and Bummeri and their playgroups for reporting.
  • In general, added a two-fold new thing for deleting units that we want to have die.
    • On MP clients, it keeps a record of all the things that the host asked it to delete but that it could not find. If those units later do a ghost check, those units now also check that central list. If they find their name there, they kill themselves rather than going through infinite more ghost checks.
      • The amount of added processing caused by this on clients should be pretty low, and it should make some ship deaths more responsive.
    • In general, when ships die on one of many background sim threads, we now have them write their death into a central concurrent dictionary. The death cleanup process looks through this along with the usual stuff it looks through, and this thus prevents things that are not in the central registry properly from being immortal ghosts.
      • In theory this could have some singleplayer or host applications, but mostly this helps MP clients, at least at the moment. Here again, this should lead to rapid responsible ghost death, and hopefully avoiding hitting the 60-second goalie.
    • Thanks to abuchris and Bummeri and their playgroups for reporting.
  • Added two new commands to the game:
    • cmd:stop sim: Stop the simulation. This halts the simulation on your machine until you enter the command a second time. This can be useful for artificially inflicting "very behind" status on an MP client and then seeing if it can catch up.
    • cmd:resync: Send a fresh copy of everything from the host to all clients. Previously, the only way to really do this was to disconnect and reconnect. This should prove to be a much quicker way of accomplishing the same thing.
    • Details: https://wiki.arcengames.com/index.php?title=AI_War_2:Cheats
  • A variety of the long-term continuous threads are now explicitly barred on multiplayer clients. Something funky is going on where clients are getting some extra orders from somewhere (which is leading to a rubber band effect during battles), and this doesn't seem to be the answer, but it is at least ruling out some possibilities.
    • At the moment we have a test case multiplayer game that rubberbands constantly, and we seem to have reduced the severity of it a bit, but it's still pretty bad. We're still looking into the source of that.
  • The scope of where random seeds are reinitialized for combat rounds has been narrowed down to specific planet factions at each planet. This makes it so that if there is a simulation divergence in one faction on a planet, it won't bleed over into ships of other factions on the same planet. This does help to keep the host and client more in sync in MP, but it isn't the root source of rubber-banding, it turns out.
  • Added a new ArcenGameDebugLogger that allows us to log arbitrary data from the game simulation at various points in a thread-safe fashion (so it does work inside Parallel loops) so that we can do things like compare the output from a host and a client.
    • The rubber-banding issue during combat is something that we can reliably reproduce within seconds with one save in particular, and it really marrs the multiplayer experience, so we'd like to figure out where the heck the simulations are diverging and why.
  • Added a huge amount of debug output options to MovementPlanning, since we were seeing divergences on the client and the host. We're now able to see what actually happens, and more or less why (when we turn the option on in code).
  • Adjusted things so that the auto-kite settings are now properly set in an MP-friendly fashion for the warden and hunter kite-master variants.
    • There's now a centralized method for MP-safe setting kiting settings.
  • The UnitsAutoKite variable on factions has been renamed to UnitsAutoKite_NeverSetDirectlyOrItBreaksEverything, since it seemed to be being set by some outside process.
  • The way that partial-sync status is transferred has been condensed into one style, whereas before it had been split in two, because this makes things vastly more straightforward to make sure are correct.
Death Of Rubber-Banding
  • Fixed an incredibly annoying bug where ships were seeming to rubber-band away to one direction and then back on MP clients. Not always, but if it was happening to you then it was constant.
    • This was the result of actually a much more serious bug that was introduced in the last week or so -- back when the bandwidth for the game was majorly improved, whatever release that was.
    • Normally we were inferring the position of factions in the central index, and taking their data in that way. If there are 18 factions and we send them all in order, then the first one is 0, and the last one is 17. Pretty easy. It doesn't save much data, but why not.
    • Well, I'll tell you why not. When I later had the clever idea to only send player faction data on the highest frequency, it started putting those at position 0 and 1 (0 typically being "natural objects"/nobody, and 1 typically being the first AI but not always) in a two-empire game. This meant that in a two-empire game, it was likely that if the second empire had ship kiting on (it is on by default), then it would turn kiting on for just the client on that first AI faction. This would cause the ships to behave wildly differently on the client compared to the host, leading to constant corrections from the host, aka the rubber-banding.
    • Mitigating this problem was the fact that every second or so, the data for all the factions would get fully copied back over, so player data was no looking entirely insane, and mostly this was being applied to just one AI faction or similar, anyway. But then a few hundred milliseconds after that, it would come back in and write the wrong data into the AI faction again.
    • Overall it's hard to guess how many strange bugs in the last week or so were caused by this, but apparently all of them were subtle enough that just the kiting was abundantly clear since it caused rubber-banding.
    • Thanks to abuchris and Bummeri for reporting the rubber-banding, and giving an idea of how to reproduce it.
Client/Host Collaborative Bandwidth Optimization
  • The host and client now have more robust communications with one another about where exactly they are in the sim-processing pipeline. In the event that the client finds out it is more than 400ms behind, it will start showing a little notice in the upper right corner. In the event that the host becomes aware that a client is at least 1 second behind, then it will show a notice about that.
    • Using our new "cmd:stop sim" command to artificially stall out the client (as if the network connection were interrupted) and then restart it, we see the client doing a proper catchup without any incident at the moment.
    • There are some folks reporting some command lag, and if that is happening then we should start seeing these notices, at least. It may be that the command lag was an artifact of the wrong-faction data being passed in the prior build, or the rubber-band desync data. But in case it's not, now we'll have more information to work with.
    • It's possible that potentially the host is filling the client channel with too much sync data in some cases, causing it to fall behind in a way that this wouldn't replicate, so next we'll deal with that by essentially requiring acks for sync data on the client.
    • Thanks to abuchris and Bummeri for reporting.
  • It's possible that the host was sending sync data at a rate that clients could not handle, in some cases, leading to a general backup of data until the connection is broken and reformed.
    • This isn't something that we can easily check for, but it logically stands to reason, because -- unlike the central game stuff -- we don't ask for any kind of acknowledgement of receipt on that data.
    • Now we do. On the host, underneath the Sync Cycles info in the escape menu, you can now see it counting up a bit more slowly, as it is waiting to hear back from all clients before proceeding.
      • Sometimes a client won't answer, though. Maybe the client just connected and it missed the message, or maybe the client disconnected but hasn't been pruned yet.
      • When this happens, then the host machine will start counting to 60 over sim frames, which might take around 6 seconds overall.
      • If that's happening, you'll see the "waiting for acks" count go above 0. When it hits 60, then it just says "okay, nevermind waiting on the clients, just move to the next."
      • The "Acks Skipped" count will then go up by one, and the most likely result is that all the clients start responding with acks properly after that. After initial connection, you're should be very unlikely to see any Acks skipped, but one or two acks skipped at the very start of a connection to the host is just fine.
        • Huh! Actually, after running for a while, we randomly saw an ack skip happen again, in our own testing. This might actually be some evidence of the network client being overwhelmed, and it gives all of the clients a chance to breathe a bit and catch up.
    • Overall this winds up reducing the bandwidth usage a bit, depending on how quickly the clients respond, anyhow. This does NOT pose any risk of actually slowing down the game simulation (actually, kind of the opposite).
    • This also does not slow down the sync data for the ships themselves, as that's on a separate process that we're not throttling via these acks.
      • There's a very outside chance that the ship data could stack up enough to where this is a problem, in which case we'd need to add acks for that as well. Right now in our testing, we're seeing 75% of the data sent from the host as ship sync checks and divergent ship fixes, so it's possible that now that has shuffled into the top spot as something that actually can become a runaway process.
  • Okay, one last communication vector between the client and host now has acks involved. (The clients all having to say "I heard you and got the data" before the host says the next big chunk of data).
    • This overall is not a giant bandwidth reduction, and it is not too much of a slowdown in how quickly ship sync cycles are completed, but depending on the nature of your network connection between the host and the slowest client, this will cause the syncs to inherently adapt to their environment.
      • Put another way, in a semi-ideal case, the bandwidth is not really lowered. But if things get congested or there's a lot of packet loss, then this will inherently slow down the process rather than just flooding the client with sync info.
    • Overall even in a semi-ideal state, this does seem to be closer to 50% of the network traffic now rather than 75%, so we must have reduced the overall volume if that's the case. It's hard to be too precise between runs, but it does look like maybe a further 20% to 30% reduction in bandwidth usage.
    • Most importantly, these changes are adaptive to nonoptimal network environments of all sorts while not actually slowing down the gameplay, so it should yield better results in basically all situations.
    • The only data beyond this that we could really gate behind acks is all too central to the game running smoothly, and it's also a tiny minority of the data being sent (15% or so), so those will remain un-gated.

Mod Updates

  • AMU:
    • Removed some leftovers from AJEA (Auto-Juggle Energy) debugging.
      • Thanks to Chris McElligott Park for noticing.
  • Kaizers Marauders:
    • Nerfed the Raid Super Battleship's health, shield and damage by 40%, and it loses its boarding strike weapon. It was a ball of super-powered steamrolling nonsense.
      • Thanks to ArnaudB for the balancing feedback.
  • Extended Ship Variants:
    • The Engineering Transport Flagship no longer shows that it's "claiming neutral units" but instead "assists claiming units", similar to engineers.
      • Thanks to Sorrydough for reporting most recently, but I think others reported it a while ago as well.
  • AMU / Kaizers Marauders:
    • Updated to fit the most recent changes in the Vanilla codebase.
  • AMU / Kaizers Marauders:
    • Made some fine-tuning for the DoForPlanets code to avoid cross-threading issues.
    • While doing so found a bug in the Fireteam Maintenance code where it was not moving units to planets of their fireteam if they had no orders at all but still were on a wrong planet. This may already have been caught by the Vanilla fireteam code, but it's good to have fixed.

2.808 MP Ghostbusting

(Released April 23rd, 2021)

  • Add an additional beginner journal for after you've taken the nearby ARS and flagship.
    • This is very placeholder-y and needs to be rewritten by someone more skilled at the game
  • The Hacking menu now shows an estimate strength response for many hacks.
    • This estimates are more what you call guidelines than actual rules. The goal is more to let you see "Oh, this will be something like 10-20 Str response; easy" vs "This is a 200 str response. I need to bring lots of forces"
    • Not every hack has an estimate
  • Some improvements to the ARS section of the beginner journal pointing out that hacking an ARS three times is often risky
  • Added a new "Hacker OS" planet name set by ZeroTheHero.
  • "The Reprocessers" mod by CRZgatecrusher has been updated to have proper shortnames and work with the new sidebar styles better.

Balance Adjustments

  • Make the AI less susceptible to being trapped by forcefields
    • If you have blocked some AI ships retreat path with forcefields over a wormhole, they are now allowed to find another wormhole to retreat to
    • This behaviour is only for AI difficulty >= 7
  • Increased metal production of Zenith Metal Generator from 3000 to 5000 m/s.
    • With energy metal production and costs having been increased in the paradigm, it felt underwhelming for a structure you need to defend, and gave to little of a boost.
  • Increased energy production of Zenith Energy Generator from 600k to 900k.
    • Same logic except it felt lacking compared to economical stations. This makes it great wihout being OP.
  • Increased hull and shield of both Zenith Generators by 10x. This makes them roughly as resilient as a Forcefield mark III. So they don't instantly die the moment forcefields go down. They are very pricy to repair though.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adjusting.
  • AI Risk analysers are now less significantly punishing than having Fallen Spire active.
    • Base ExoStrike budget reduced from 20k to 10k. This means the strikes have less strength but are launched faster. (for comparison, One spire city in Fallen Spire intensity 5 is 8k.)
    • Exo strike starts charging after 55min of 40min of gametime.
    • Income for Exostrikes from Risk Analysers changed: 15->50 budget for AI-held analysers, 50->30 for neutral analysers, 150->75 for player-held analysers. With 7+ Analysers, the income from each analyser in all three cases is lower.
    • This change makes using the faction compelling to players instead of an overwhelmingly bad deal. It was worse to hold the analysers than to kill them in every situation. Now, you want to actively hunt down the analysers an deal with them one way or another, because they provide much more income in the AI's hands. Exostrikes are also more common and less deadly, thus better able to take advantage of well-timed CPAs and Waves, instead of a doom tsunami when those happened to sync up.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adjusting.
  • Hacking cost on ARSes has been reduced back from 16 to 12. There was a lot of discussion on this, and the boost a build or so back from 8 to 16 was more than had been intended by those originally proposing it. Apologies for misunderstanding, and thank you to everyone for the discussion!

Bugfixes

  • Fix a bug with tutorials introduced in the last patch
    • Thanks to greyhoundgames for reporting
  • Added wrappers to catch exceptions happening in UpdatePowerLevel, CheckIfPlayerHasSeenFaction, and UpdatePlanetInfluence in factions, and make it clear which factions had the error while also not blocking proper execution of other factions.
    • If a mod in particular has an exception in one of these methods, it will now have less of an impact on the rest of the game.
    • Thanks to various folks for reporting the errors in some mod factions here.
  • Fixed a cross-threading issue that could occur in CalculateCurrentShieldRadius(), most commonly on MP clients.
    • Thanks to Bummeri for reporting.
  • Recompiled Civilian Industries because of nonspecific report of them having some sort of exception. Everything seems okay at the moment, and we don't play the mod directly, so until we get a report with more details there's not a lot we can do.
    • There is currently a bug in the Kaizer's Marauders mod that is pending a fix from that mod author, so it may have been having downstream effects on other factions. The changes in this build overall should keep mod faction bugs from impacting other factions.
  • Preemptively fixed a lot of potential rare cross-threading issues in the core unit logic. Preferable to picking these up randomly as they trickle in, largely through MP play.
  • Adjusted a piece of onstart code that allows Kaizer's Marauders to work again.
    • Thanks to various folks for reporting, and NR SirLimbo for helping coordinate what his mods needed versus what the game was now doing, and why.

MP Ghost Busting

  • Fixed another way in which multiplayer clients could have "ghosts" left behind after battles.
    • This is actually a two-pronged thing, with some ghosts that you could even hover over not being zapped before, and with others that disappeared when you hovered, but did not disappear until then because of something like the unit being set to be new to the planet continuously.
    • Both cases are now caught, but it's still possible to have some ghosts in some cases that last for up to 3 realtime seconds or until someone hovers over them. We can pretty much reliably reproduce that, but thankfully that's fairly fast self-correct even if it's not as fast as under a second like the bulk of cases.
    • Thanks to Bummeri for reporting.
  • On MP clients, you can now see how long it has been since a ship has been updated by the server by hovering over it. If it has been more than 5 seconds (realtime, not game time), it will show up in red in general.
  • Made some adjustments on MP servers to do more thorough sync checks in general, which leads to fewer ghosts!
    • This was a case of saving some data to be clever, but in the end causing far more data to be sent in the first place, sigh.
    • This new change has now dramatically cut down the amount of sync data that we send, while at the same time making the client correct faster, aka feel more responsive.
    • Ghosts still happen and get caught, but it's far fewer of them, and they do all seem to be caught by the above process now.

Steamworks Update

  • Updated Facepunch.Steamworks to the newest version from their git repository, moving up from the prior version that was from July 6, 2020.
    • It's notable that under the hood they are now calling a newer version of some of Valve's networking APIs, which I didn't even notice was a thing that Valve did (they do it for backwards compatibility with old games). So hopefully that makes some positive differences.
  • Updated our usage of the Steamworks API to version 1.51, which for OSX also includes shifting the usage from their .bundle file (older) to their new .dylib file.

2.807 Beginner Journals and MP Sync

(Released April 22nd, 2021)

  • Blitzkrieg turret now fires 36 drones every 17s instead of 12 every 6s. This gives the AI more windows to close in before being assaulted by the next wave.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adjusting.
  • Blitzkrieg: Reduced hull for Automated Drones from 2240 to 1200 hull and Mini Automated Drones 750 to 400 hull.
    • Death of an Automated Drone creates 4 drones instead of 3 on death.
    • Speed of both drones increased to 2200.
  • Makeshift: Drone speed increased from 800 to 1600.
    • All of those changes make the drones rush in closer to the AI so they can be swatted by splash damage instead of arriving in an ever-stalling wave. The drones are gunbot-like health so they'll die like the chaff they're supposed to be. This makes both raid turrets more powerful on offense and hopefully weaker on defence.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adjusting.
  • Base hacking point cost for FRS hacks has been increased from 10 to 22.
    • Cruisers are now 18 instead of 10, and destroyers now 16 instead of 12.
    • Regular ARS is now 16 instead of 8.
    • The hope is to overall have better balance by not giving players SO much power at such a low cost.
    • Thanks to Strategic Sage for the suggestions.

Beginner Journal Improvements

  • Add some new beginner journals to give the player some early game direction. This kinda duplicates the same detail that is in the Intel Menu, but duplicating critical information is good design. I want a new player to feel like the game is actively poking them to make good choices.
    • After a minute of gameplay, the player gets a beginner journal journal entry chat saying "We think we've found a good target for you. See the Journal for more details".
      • The game has detected whether the closest ARS or flagship is the best target (the weaker of those two planets). The journal explains how an ARS or flagship works.
      • When the player has accomplished this first objective, they get a journal prompt about the second objective.
  • Both of these journal entries suggest looking at the Intel menu for more ideas

Bugfixes

  • When exceptions happen in trying to deserialize a table row by index, it now includes the field name properly. This will help fixing exceptions in those serialization areas.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for the report that made it clear we had a gap here.
  • Fixed a funky exception that could show up on at least a few linux machines in the prior version of the game, typically when entering the lobby.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • Added three more canaries that are network-only, these ones into hacking events, so that we can identify if there is a problem with them.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for reporting an issue there.
  • Added another canary around the active hacking event on entities, again only for multiplayer. Code review seemed fine, so narrowing it down even further seems needed.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for reporting.
  • Put in some extra paranoid canaries, for the network only, surrounding each kind of external data. That way if a specific mod or subfaction or whatever has a serialization issue, it will become apparent which one it was.
    • Thanks to NR SirLimbo for the report that inspired this change.
  • Fixed a super longstanding MP issue that has become more prominent recently, but has been hiding in plain sight basically since the start, breaking ship sync intermittently and also causing some other issues.
    • Essentially, on MP clients it would not properly say "I finished my current hack" on ships that were hacking. This led to situations where it tried to deserialize nonexistent hacking event data on the hacker every time the host would send it new data, which would then lead to serialization failures and in general a long and continual divergence in the simulations.
    • However, this was something that would fix itself on disconnect or reconnect, or save and reload, so that made this super extra hard to find. Until recently, it was also not clear that this was related to hacking events, because without the new density of canaries we didn't find out things were wrong until long enough after a hack finished that they didn't seem correlated to anyone.
    • This was surely a cause for various other UI and behavior problems on clients, such as likely inability to do more hacks with that hacker, and other things of that sort.
    • We have verified the fix, and knock on wood let's hope this is the last of the mystery sync issues!
    • HUGE thanks to NR SirLimbo and ArnaudB for the multiplayer session and report that led to this finally being discovered and nailed.
  • Fix a bug where ships in Exos weren't properly clearing their exo status if they were against something like a Spire City.
    • Thanks to kasnavada for reporting.

2.806 Correctness By Attrition

(Released April 21st, 2021)

  • Put a flair on AI defensive structures built by the Zenith Trader to make it easy to tell if they cause AIP on death
    • Further work from a bug report by mahisev350
  • Removed the dmg bonus for Nodorian as its main weapon damage did crazy damage.
    • Its attrition is also bugged, doing much less dmg than it should.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.
  • Reduced RorqualHegira shield from 1.5m shield to 1.0m shield. Reduced shield hack cost from 40 to 20, can be done twice.
    • This basically put it where it was.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for updating.
  • Improve the hovertext for units that are warping in.
  • Some minor buffs to instigators. The 'Strengthen Wormhole Invasion' instigator should no longer spawn if the AI can't actually send wormhole invasions.
  • When a stacked unit takes attrition damage, it takes numStacks * baseDamage damage instead. This means that stacks are no longer a really effective counter to attrition damage.
    • Also a preemptive nerf to the nodorian totoroid.
  • Fix a bug where battle Notifications could report incorrect enemy strength.
  • Fixed an exception that could still happen in SetAllMembershipsUpFromDesignTemplates(), in MP or SP, largely during map generation.
    • Thanks to Bummeri for reporting.

Quite A Lot Of Multiplayer Improvements!

  • Canaries in MP in the prior version greatly narrowed down the ship serialization issue. Thankfully it does not seem to be in external code. However, we still can't find it. We've introduced one possible fix that is cross-threading related, but for now inserted more MP-specific canaries to get a more detailed snapshot of where the issue might be.
    • Thanks to Bummeri for reporting.
  • Our LiteNetLib implementation has been updated so that if a client disconnects but the host still has a few lingering messages for them, it won't throw any errors. If the client is supposed to be there or is in some other state, it also gives more information.
    • Thanks to Bummeri for reporting.
  • Revised the network sync a bit so that it once again checks the faction and the type of the unit when it comes to correctness.
    • This normally should not be needed, but it is a thing that can happen where ships transform but keep their ID, or in particular when they are gifted between factions (especially subfactions of the AI).
  • Also fixed a bug where when a ship sync happened and there was a faction mismatch, it was not properly changing the faction.
    • This was leading to things like "rubber band ships" on the clients where the AI "sentinels" ships would move in one direction on the client and then jolt back when sync caught them. This is because they were actually hunter ships, which would make different decision (aka sitting there) in this specific case.
    • Ironically, in the quest to save a bit of check data, this absolutely flooded the game with correction data since it couldn't correct things properly.
  • Fixed several exceptions that could happen because of cross-threading on MP clients in particular.
  • Fixed some more rare exceptions that could happen on MP clients when certain state was invalid and a ship tried to transform or similar.
  • Another source of strange behavior on clients (rubber-banding units, or unkillable units) was "ghost" units that were somehow still thought to be alive on the client, but the host knows are dead. When a client mouses over these sorts of units, they destroy themselves, but until then they mess with the client simulation quite a lot. Why exactly these exist is hard to say, but the clients now do a sanity check for potential ghost units, and request full syncs from the server on any of them that are ghosts.
    • The ones that are updated in this way are stale for SOME reason, even if they're not a ghost unit, so this should solve sync issues that can be missed via the main process.
    • In the escape menu if you have detailed info turned on, the client now sees a "Ghost Suspect Syncs" stat. Hopefully it doesn't go too crazy, but it's measuring this.
  • Whenever the game would normally do that "Memory Profile Debug Data On Game Exit" dump to your local log, if you were a multiplayer host or client it also now dumps how many messages and how many bytes were sent and received. For sends, it also has it broken down by channel.
    • This is one of those "hey, that's some useful trivia for us or end users and doesn't take much time or space" things.
  • MASSIVE savings in terms of amount of network traffic. We're talking roughly 75% savings for network hosts and clients. It's based on these two advanced features that have been added under the networking tab:
    • Host: Number Of Skips In Rolling Sync
      • The larger the number, the more of a break the network host takes between giving bulk data about updated planets, factions, fleets, etc to clients. This can dramatically lower the bandwidth requirements of the game, but can also make it take longer for errors to self-correct.
      • This doesn't really have an effect on units themselves, which are synced in a parallel process, so the bulk of things will be fine. Default is 2, but you can push it a bit higher without many issues if your bandwidth is that high.
    • Host: Number Of Skips In Ultra-Frequent Sync
      • The larger the number, the more of a break the network host takes between giving every-sim-frame sync data about things like faction data. This can moderately lower the bandwidth requirements of the game, but can also make the client see a slightly delayed view of certain central numbers.
      • This doesn't really have an effect on units themselves, which are synced in a parallel process, so the bulk of things will be fine. Default is 2, and it's probably okay to go a bit higher if you must. When it 'skips' one of these cycles, it still sends the human-player faction info, so that critical part happens no matter what.
    • This should also make the Steam Tubes style of networking way more playable in general, as the congestion on the main channel will be much lower. This was kind of an "oh, hey, we can do that" sort of moment that came as a surprise.

2.805 Relentless On Several Levels

(Released April 20th, 2021)

  • Fixed not being able to hack for a third Dark Spire design at the Vengeance Generator
    • Note: check if third hack blow up the VG.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for fixing.
  • Two new kinds of mark level scaling have been added.
    • MobileLoneWolfFleetFlagship now gets whatever is assigned to is_default_for_lonewolf="true" (if there is anything).
    • MobileOfficerCombatFleetFlagship now gets whatever is assigned to is_default_for_officers="true" (if there is anything).
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for requesting.
  • It's not entirely clear what "Threat Waves" were in the current paradigm of the game, or if they were even working. At any rate, they were highly undesirable mechanically if they did work, and they were just an option in the lobby. They have now been removed.
    • Thanks to Democracy and Badger for suggesting.
  • Fix a bug where structures that had died back to neutral could incorrectly be reclaimable during battles, which was a needless resource drain as the AI killed the things you were rebuilding.
    • We were always looking at the "time we were created (ie game start time)" instead of actually tracking the "time we last were killed and reset to neutral", so we would always think that it had been a really long time since the unit was reset to neutral.
    • This was not really a problem until Metal Generators were more expensive to reclaim and the game was trying to reclaim them during a battle
  • Added a new GetDifficultyOrdinal_OrNegativeOneIfNotRelevant() that can be used on factions to get a difficulty or intensity for that faction if one is relevant. For most it just returns -1 right now, but for AI Sentinels it returns the AI difficulty.

Relentless Wave Intelligence Increase

  • When the game swapped to the Relentless Wave faction, waves also got dumber; they would only go after your command station every time.
    • Relentless waves are now smarter; the goal is more interesting and varied (and hopefully smarter and more dangerous) waves. Note that these advanced behaviours are more likely on higher difficulties (and usually won't happen at all on low difficulties).
    • Here are the rules
      • If there's a wave on a planet adjacent to your homeworld, the wave is allowed to just go for the the throat. Note the wave will only do this if it thinks it can make a real run at your king
      • If the wave is outnumbered on the current planet but there's a weak adjacent planet, the wave is allowed to go after the weaker planet
      • The default wave behaviour on a planet is "just fight generically, don't go after anything in particular"
      • The wave is allowed to go straight for your command station on higher difficulties if it thinks that is a good idea
      • The wave is allowed to go after structures that would generate AIP on death
      • The wave is allowed to dispatch really fast ships or cloaked ships to bring down your metal generators
  • Badger was thinking about Bellatrix's steam comment and that the waves could be much smarter. Then he remembered he had already written all that wave intelligence code, it just hadn't been ported over to the Relentless Wave faction yet.

Balance

  • Balance adjustments following yet another difficulty 10 win with a heavy emphasis on Exotic tech.
    • Vampire Turret and Harmonic Turret swap techs.
    • Harmonic Turret reload reduced from 2s to 3s.
      • This is to make it harder to have a good mono-tech turret nest with only Exotic since Harmonic turrets are quite strong on their own with sufficient numbers to cap their gimmick.
    • Acid Turret debuff scaling nerfed from 65 +20/mark to 50 +5/mark
      • This is because the damage is treated as base damage and is multiplied out by things like special damage bonuses, military command percentage damage bonus, and FRS buff fleet damage bonus. And is incredibly powerful for things with high amounts of multi-shot or very high fire rates.
    • Vanguard acid debuff scaling dropped from 30 +10/mark to 20 +5/mark for same reasoning.
    • Parasitic starting fleet adjusted. Parasitic Pike line replaced with V-Wings to make the fleet have a way to catch targets more reliably and to make it not able to upgrade three out of four ships off a single tech.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for adjusting.
  • Changed military Command damage multiplier to +25% per mark as they were supposed to. The bonus is +0% at Mark I.
    • This was supposed to have gone through over a month ago, I don't know why this went back to 10%+15% mark
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adjusting.
  • Increased metal cost for Phase 1 and Phase 2 Overlord to 5million. Just so metabolism give a reward to the players, rather than 0 for killing each phase.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adjusting.
  • To make the shifted Harmonic Turret fit subterfuge better it now does 2x damage versus targets requiring 2500 or more power.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for adjusting.
  • Minor balance tweak to the Vanguard drones used by both AI and player versions of Escort Carriers within More System Defenders so they aren't better than regular non-drone version that was just nerfed. Base damage amplification value 30 -> 15
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for adjusting.
  • Changed Crusher so its magnetic Pull now hit 50 targets instead of being an AOE. It kept hitting the closest unit instead of trying to bring in more. That should solve it and make it much better.
    • Thanks to ArnaudB for adjusting.
  • Metal Generators are much tankier but also more expensive to claim.
    • The goal is to make defending Metal Generators something you might actually think about. Previously Metal Generators were extremely cheap to claim but also very flimsy, so they basically were rebuilt as soon as your command station was built (and there were no enemies).
  • AI Allied Scourge at intensity >= 6 now get a faster start
  • Nerfs to the Dyson Sphere to make sure they don't spawn units every second
  • Improve the game's ability to detect when Hunter ships are supposed to be warping out due to defeated enemies
    • Thanks to samnainocard for a save game where an immense number of hunter ships were spawn-camping the dyson

Overlords By Difficulty

  • There is now a separate version of the AI Overlord (both phases 1 and 2) at each difficulty level. The prior version from the beta was really designed for difficulty 8, and so was game-endingly hard on difficulty 6 and similar, while being too easy on difficulty 10.
    • The general changes as compared to the base stats are:
      • Diff 1: 5% of health and attack power compared to normal. Phase 2 speed 150 (was 300 in prior builds). Known as the v0.001proto.
      • Diff 2: 10% of health and attack power compared to normal. Phase 2 speed 150. Known as the v0.002proto.
      • Diff 3: 15% of health and attack power compared to normal. Phase 2 speed 150. Known as the v0.003proto.
      • Diff 4: 20% of health and attack power compared to normal. Phase 2 speed 200. Known as the v0.44rc.
      • Diff 5: 25% of health and attack power compared to normal. Phase 2 speed 200. Known as the v5xrc.
      • Diff 6: 50% of health and attack power compared to normal. Phase 2 speed 200. Known as the x6kx.
      • Diff 7: 75% of health and attack power compared to normal. Phase 2 speed 250. Known as the t7000.
      • Diff 8: 100% of health and attack power compared to normal. Phase 2 speed 300. Known as the t80.
      • Diff 9: 120% of health and attack power compared to normal. Phase 2 speed 400. Known as the z90. That phase 2 speed is no joke.
      • Diff 10: This actually shows off our ability to have multiple overlord variants! Because why not.
        • Diff 10 A: 180% of health and 200% of attack power compared to normal. Phase 2 speed 500. Known as the x4000 Super. This whole thing is a death machine.
        • Diff 10 B: 180% of health and 150% of attack power compared to normal, plus 150% of normal attack range (ow). Phase 2 speed 500. Known as the PFFN. This is also a death machine.
        • Fun fact: I (Chris) have been using the nickname x-4000 online since the late-ish 90s, because it was the name of the villain in a novel I was writing at the time. Different clones from the same facility, or something like that (I was a high school writer, leaving a lot to be desired there). The hero was y-3003, but since I was originally using this online handle as a romhacker, I chose to use the villainous name and it stuck. Now it's actually finally in a work in an appropriate place.
    • Thanks to donblas for reporting what a crazy difficulty spike the Phase 2 overlord was in difficulty 6 games. Thanks to Badger for suggesting the PFFN variant, in honor of Puffin's contributions and long-time battle against diff 10 victors.
  • When savegames are loaded, any older-style AI Overlords will be converted into their newer counterparts depending on the difficulty of each respective AI. So if you had a multi-AI game, you'll have multiple variants of AI Overlord if their difficulties varied.
    • This makes it so that lower-difficulty games-in-progress can avoid the shock super-hard ending difficulty spike.

Bugfixes

  • Put in some new cross-threading protections for when entity order collections are altered in any way.
    • Rather than using a concurrent queue or something of that nature, we are using an old fashioned style of thread lock on the lists in question.
    • There is the very rare risk that this could cause a deadlock, but most likely this would be detected and it will kill the background thread. In the event that happens, we can adjust further. It's also possible that this was the cause of the freezing up that Strategic Sage saw over the weekend, although we're probably not that lucky.
    • Thanks to ptarth and Waladil for reporting.
  • Fixed a regression that was a long-standing issue where if you tried to load a save that failed, and then clicked out of the load savegame window, you would wind up in a purgatory that was half crazed-main-game-ui and half main menu ui.
  • Adjusted our entity order serialization code a bit so that EntityOrderType.Length can actually be serialized if need be.
  • Improved the debug messages when entity systems fail to deserialize.
  • The game now supports putting "canaries" into serialized savegames as well as on the network.
    • This is useful for quickly detecting when there is savegame corruption of some sort, which could be caused by a mistake on our part, or a bug in a mod that contains savegame-style data.
      • Because of the utility with mods, which are ever-changing, this is something we're putting in in a minimally-invasive fashion so that we can leave this in indefinitely rather than just having it when we know we have some sort of problem in our own code.
  • There is some sort of ultra-rare serialization problem with entities that breaks certain savegames. This must be something that has a very strong temporal component, or is using a feature that very few ships use, or something of that nature.
    • Right now we are unable to identify where it is, although we know it is not mod-related. The new canaries are an attempt to locate this, given the rarity of the item in question.
    • We wish that we were able to to solve this directly in one go, but essentially we need a version of this where it is broken after saving with the canaries present in order for us to find it. We've tried reverse engineering it from existing broken saves, but did not find anything conclusive despite a few promising leads.
    • Thanks to ptarth for the one set of saves that had this problem.
  • Put in some better clarity when Astro Trains run into trouble doing a depot event.]
  • Fix a bug where player-allied Nanocaust might snipe player-allied scourge units when they spawn in
    • Thanks to Geeber51 for reporting
  • Fixed a couple of bugs that could happen in DoMilitiaThreatReaction() in Civilian Industries, but in general just instrumented that code so that if it happens again we will know where and why it is happening.
    • Thanks to gigastar for the report.
  • Improve the text of some settings related to player-allied factions
    • Thanks to mahisev350 for reporting.
  • In a number of places in the game, we're updating counts from across multiple threads. It's generally for informational purposes, and originally was not too much under contention. But it has been lately, and we were getting wrong numbers.
    • We are now using System.Threading.Interlocked.Add() instead of just using variable++ as an operator. This performs better, and gives correct results.
  • Rather than using finalizers and other not-so-efficient methods to track objects of which we are suspicious, we are now using a new ReferencerTracker class of our own design, which uses WeakReferences in a ConcurrentDictionary that is fed by the constructors of suspect objects, and which are parsed and pruned on background worker threads every 3 seconds or so.

Multiplayer Fixes

  • Fixed some exceptions that could happen in DeployDroneContents_ONLYCallFromSimBGThread() on MP clients. This should not have been running on clients in general.
    • Thanks to Badger and Zegma for reporting.
  • Put in some more canary code in Client_AcceptDivergenceDataFromHost, which seems to have been having some errors in MP at times.
    • Errors in this could cause various strange afflictions like units disappearing, so finding the root of this is important and this should be a good step on that path.
    • Thanks to Badger and Zegma for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen during hacks on MP clients. In general this code is again now not run on MP clients. Ships involved are being immediately synced from the host to the clients anyhow.
    • In general, just to be on the safe side, but in extra instrumentation for this even on the host, and split it into its own method, however.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • Fixed a number of potential cross-threading issues in ActuallyFireSalvoAtTargetPriorityList(), most of which were mainly able to happen on MP clients, but technically which could likely happen under rare circumstances in SP as well.
    • Thanks to Badger and Zegma for reporting.
  • Fixed some cross threading exceptions that could happen in WriteCityTooltipDetails, mainly in MP.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • Canary was hit for some faction's external data in MP, but not sure which one. We have improved the canary code to give us more information about what faction name and type is present.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • Whenever you quit the game to the main menu or the OS from an active game (or get booted in multiplayer from a lost connection) it now logs a little "Memory Profile Debug Data On Game Exit" table.\
    • This currently covers how many fleets, fleet memberships, orders, planetfactions, faction, other gameentities, shots, ships, speed groups, fireteams, pathfinders, gamecommands, and planets have been created, garbage collected, and are still active since last reloading the game.
    • There seems to be a memory leak in multiplayer on the clients, and comparing these numbers between client and host should give us some ideas on where that is. It's possible that these are in "external data" somewhere, in which case we will have to greatly expand our footprint reporting.
    • If you're curious, essentially if the number of active ones is super duper high on the client, that's the point of concern for a memory leak. That said, if the number of total ones created is very much higher on the client compared to the host, then that could be indicative of a performance problem (rather than a memory leak).
    • These numbers mean almost nothing in isolation (unless numbers are in the hundreds of thousands or up), so if you report your version of these, please pair the client(s) and the host versions of the report together.
    • If your game is getting laggy near the end of a long session, or clients are seeing strange behaviors, or whatever else, then please do send us these plus whatever other information you feel like is relevant!
    • Fleets or fleet memberships in particular are suspicious right now, as Badger had noted that sometimes on clients not all of the ships would be selected if you press the hotkey associated with that fleet. That could be a different form of code bug, but malformed/duplicate fleets or memberships is the highest likelihood. Paired with general command delays and slowdowns on clients in long sessions that reset when disconnecting and reconnecting, we know there is SOME sort of client memory leak in general.
    • In the absolute worst case, we can brute force fixing some of this (that may be needed in the event that mods are what contain a memory leak, for example, since we can't fix those sorts of things) by doing a complete rebuild on the client periodically, but this would lose some UI state and might be annoying. If we did do it, for the most part it would likely just feel like a "save interruption" in a game like Factorio. And if we did it, it would be an optional thing. For now we'd rather go hunting for the leak.
  • Fixed a number of DoEntitySecondLogic_FromSimBGThread() errors that could happen on ships on MP clients.
    • Thanks to Zegma for reporting.
  • Fixed a whole nest of more things that could go wrong in cross-threading on MP clients in wormhole traversal logic, AI orders reevaluation, etc.
    • Thanks to Zegma for reporting.
  • The way that we were sometimes pre-generating PKIDs on the host and giving them to clients, and the way we were calling CreateNew_CallWithSpecificPKIDID_ClientOrHost(), has all been removed.
    • This almost never worked entirely properly, and tended to cause players to see the things they created exploding and then reforming exactly where they were. It also used more network data than is needed.
    • This was a clever idea before we came up with the concept of our "fast blast" network sync from the host, but now it's entirely unnecessary.
    • This also solves a cross-threading bug that could happen in that code, but that was honestly the lesser of the problems there.
    • Thanks to Zegma for reporting.
  • Introduced more network canaries into the fast blast data, as some of it was not coming through properly for clients in some cases. In all cases, this seems to be ship data, so it's probably the same problem that we're seeing in some rare savegame cases for single player.
    • Thanks to Zegma for reporting.
  • Stacks that are split are now done only on the host, and the data is sent quickly to clients. This avoids some errors that could otherwise happen on MP clients.
    • Thanks to Zegma for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen in SwitchToFaction() on MP clients. This is now only done on MP hosts and then quickly synced to clients.
    • Thanks to Zegma for reporting.
  • Fixed a couple of cross threading errors that could happen on MP clients in GetIsSelfConstructionBlocked().
    • Thanks to Zegma for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen in DeployAIReinforcementContents() on MP clients. This is now only run on hosts, and clients hear about it quickly after.
    • Thanks to Zegma for reporting.
  • Fixed up the way that we deserialize squad orders so that it is vastly more efficient for multiplayer clients.
    • This was at least a mild memory leak on MP clients, and possible quite a severe one.
  • Also fixed a memory leak (probably a mild one) in the single-player game related to orders, in cases where the firing orders were invalid for some reason.
    • This was likely very very mild, if it even came up at all. But nice to have things fixed.
  • Fixed an exception in SetAllMembershipsUpFromDesignTemplates() that could happen on MP clients when they were connecting in. That only needs to run on the host anyhow.
  • Multiplayer clients are now a bit slower about deleting ships that were not in the prior sync cycle. They now wait two sync cycles to be sure, as well as not deleting something that is so new it has not been sync-processed at all yet.
    • This should reduce some network traffic, and some flickering of new units, and some issues with units that just moved between planets. This might have the side effect of a few dead entities sticking around for a few extra seconds on the client, but probably not (a different process should catch that).
  • Multiplayer clients now split "catastrophic" ship mismatches (which should be just from a faction switch), and count missing ship mismatches as a separate category.

2.803 Multiplayer Option Overload

(Released April 16th, 2021)

  • Updated the Fallen Spire journals
    • Thanks to Vinco for some excellent feedback
  • Watched Fleets are now above Local fleets if both watched and local are above the ships in the planet tab
    • Thanks to Daw11 for the feedback
  • Improve the text when you are hovering a fleet in the sidebar and ask for more detailed in formation
    • This was annoying Badger
  • Added a new skip_all_waves="true" option for tutorials, which prevents any waves from spawning in them. This is set on for all of our tutorials, as we don't wish for any waves in these specific ones.
    • Thanks to Mr W and Strategic Sage for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue where the GOG linux installer did not have the UnityPlayer.so file. This was missed because we upgraded to a new version of unity, and they moved that file there without us noticing it. Apologies!

Way Too Many Networking Options, But Here We Are

  • Holy explosion of Steam networking frameworks, Batman!
    • So... the networking options that we provided in the prior release did not work for everyone, and we're not sure why. To err on the side of caution, right now we're providing a stupidly high number of options. We'd love nothing more than to pare this back down, so feedback on what works and what does not would be very welcome.
    • There are now SIX variations of Steam networking, and soon that number may be eight, but we'll see.
      • These come in pairs, with Relay being ones that are sent through Valve's servers, and Direct being ones that just go across the general Internet (and sometimes require the host to share their public IP with the clients).
    • The first pair is called Steam Multi-Sockets.
      • These connect via four socket connections on four different ports (as with last release), and thus are way more efficient because of how they are able to avoid data traffic jams. These may not connect for all players, though, or if connectivity is rough, they be more prone to dropping client connections since there are four that must be maintained per client.
    • The second pair is called Steam Tubes:
      • This is the sort of networking we started out with in 2.800. It uses just a single socket connection, no channels or anything, and shoves all the data along it. It is VERY prone to traffic jams, because of this. This should only be used if Multi-Sockets is not working for you.
    • The third pair is called Steam P2P:
      • This uses a different (and slightly older) form of Steam networking called P2P. The underlying technology is completely different from the two forms of networking above. This works phenomenally well for some people, and is very fast for them. For others, it won't even connect. For a few others, for some reason the underlying network actually corrupts data from time to time.
    • In the game, we have ranked all of the various connection types from S tier down to C tier, with color-coding. This was the only real way we could think of to make this at least slightly less overwhelming, but it's still now awesome. Apologies for that.
    • Huge thanks to Fluffiest and bluastelo for helping us live-bugtest this.
      • They eventually got it to work with Steam P2P, but neither Multi-Sockets nor Tubes were working until they made the P2P connection. After the P2P connection was made, Tubes started working... so maybe that means that Multi-Sockets would then work? If so, they could move all the way back to Multi-Sockets, and have the most performant connection possible.
  • Our integration with Steamworks no longer uses asynchronous callbacks. This was causing callbacks to be checked every 16ms, which in some cases is a bit too slow. We are now running callbacks every frame, directly on the main thread, because with those -- particularly the networking ones -- we want to be able to directly get the results asap and we need them on the main thread anyhow.
    • It's possible that the use of async callbacks was what was causing flaky networking via Steam for some folks, but it's hard to be sure just yet.
  • Actually updated our callbacks-running to be even more explicitly checked right before network messages are checked. This should ensure absolutely the most timely possible reception of network messages via Steam.
  • Fixed a random crash that could sometimes happen on clients of Steam Multi-Socket networking.
    • Thanks to Fluffiest and bluastelo for reporting.

2.802 Multiplayer Steams Onward

(Released April 16th, 2021)

  • Adjusted several parts of the game to use EnumerateFiles() rather than GetFiles(), and the same for directories, because these things cause less of a delay when you have a huge number of savegames or campaigns.
  • Updated several aspects of the quick start window and load savegame window to make them load much faster when you have hundreds of savegames on your machine.
  • added_shots_per_salvo_per_mark can now take in non-integer numbers. The result at any given mark level will be rounded down to the nearest integer.
    • The math is [mark level above 1] * [added_amount], rounded down. So if you have a value of 0.6, then at mark 2 it would be just 0.6, round down to 0. At mark 3 it would be 1.2, round down to 1. At mark 4, 1.8, round down to 1. At mark 5, 2.4, round down to 2. Mark 6, exactly 3, and at 7 it will round down to 3 also.
    • If you want an added shot at marks 3 and 5 and 7, then a good number is 0.5. That would give you +1 at mark 3, and +1 at mark 5, and then +1 at mark 7 rather than mark 6.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for requesting.
  • Balance adjustment to Tritium Sniper Frigate: Now gains an extra shot per salvo at marks 4 and 6.
    • This should make it more competitive with its variant the Ramifier Frigate.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for updating this.
  • Add a setting to not place the Strike, Lone or Officer prefix before fleet names.
    • Thanks to Badger for adding.

Bugfixes

  • Fixed a bug where electrotoxic effects were not working because we had intentionally disabled them when looking for a certain crash, and it accidentally got left off.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer for reporting.
  • Fixed icon not working in Powerful Command Stations Mod by ArnaudB.
  • Updated the game to allow parsing "false" as 0 when doing xml processing.
    • This solves the problem of potential exceptions when someone has AutoBuildAssaultFrigates in the old format rather than the newer style.
    • Thanks to KingSyphilis for reporting.
  • Fixed a random cross-threading exception that could happen in FindProtectingForcefieldToHitInsteadOfTarget() if the stars aligned just wrong. This could affect multiplayer or singleplayer, and is not a new bug, but is just THAT rare.
  • Fixed a fairly rare bug that was causing units to not serialize properly sometimes. It seemed to be related to the incomingshots list on units, which is something that really should only be sent in fully network syncs but should not be sent to disk or as part of smaller network syncs.
    • Essentially, because of the many improvements made to multiplayer efficiency, this unfortunately had created a miniature version of Russian Roulette (some sort of fantasy chain gun with 2000 slots but only one with a bullet in it), where if you got tagged with it, it would corrupt your save.
    • Thankfully, autosaves are a thing, and in the example save that had this issue, there was an autosave from literally 20 seconds earlier that did not have the problem. And with extensive testing on the same save, we couldn't get it to replicate.
    • That said, some of the persistent intermittent errors that folks were seeing in multiplayer were a lot less rare (because multiplayer takes a lot more tries at Russian Roulette, not because the actual odds changed), and this is probably an accidental discovery of what those were.
    • Thanks to deR Zaubererer and their MP partner for discovering this.
  • Fixed an oversight where the "Intra Galactic Coordinators Permadeath" option was still in the advanced settings, even though IGCs themselves have been removed.
    • Thanks to Democracy for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen when completing a spire relic hack if the spire relic was not on a nearby planet.
    • Thanks to vinco for reporting.
  • Ships that regenerate in a certain amount of time based on seconds_to_fully_regenerate_hull now will still do it in that same amount of time even if their maximum hull health is increased by outside factors like a hack.
    • Thanks to CRCGamer and Democracy for reporting.
  • Fixed an issue on the ODSS tooltips where it was still saying you could hack four times instead of twice.
    • Thanks to Zer0h1nder for reporting.
  • Removed some old code that would complain about multiple PG factions if they were in the "wrong" order. It was annoying on startup of many savegames.
    • Thanks to Badger for the save demonstrating it.
  • Dyson sphere: add some defensive code for a random crash Badger saw.
    • Thanks to Badger for adding.
  • Fix a typo in the fleets swap line messages.
    • Thanks to Badger for fixing.
  • Fix a very fun bug with ships aggrod by the dyson joining the hunter fleet.
    • This also was a memory leak, and has been around since October 2019. It happened more the more factions you had in general, and the more times you reloaded saves before closing the game.
    • Huge thanks to Badger for hunting this one down and fixing it!

Multiplayer Updates

  • Put in some code with Steam P2P networking that should make it more likely to connect in general for more people.
  • Steam networking has been split into four separate frameworks that you can choose from, rather than (recently) two or (previous to a few weeks ago) one.
    • This lets you choose between Steam P2P direct or relayed, or Steam Sockets (formerly Steam Connection-Oriented or C-O) Direct or Relayed.
    • The Steam P2P Direct method is new and doesn't require any special configuration. You just select a steam friend and hit connect like always. It may or may not work well, though.
    • The Steam Sockets Direct method is also new, and requires you to connect via IP address, which the host must provide to you. This works with both local and public IP addresses, and should be able to avoid NAT punchthrough -- but if that fails, you will still need to use Steam Sockets Relay to work around it.
      • This method is noticeably faster than any of the other Steam methods, but slightly less convenient because of the whole IP-sharing thing.
  • On the networking tab, there is now enough room in the textboxes for you to read IPV6 addresses.
  • The call to find your public IP address is now run asynchronously, so when you first click into the networking tab it no longer has a moment of lag while it contacts a server to find out what your IP is for you.
  • When you are in the lobby as a multiplayer host, or in the escape menu as a multiplayer host once a game has started, it now specifies what your public and local IPs are if you are on the sort of networking framework that needs that.
    • In those places, it also specifies what networking framework you are using, in general.
  • In the escape menu, if you are in single-player mode, it now will also show that. It looks like there were some ways for people to wind up no longer being a host without realizing it, and this will let people actually check. This is possibly what was leading to some (but definitely not all) connection issues for some folks.
  • Fixed a bug where if you tried to load a savegame to host in multiplayer, but encountered an error, then it would switch you to single-player mode. That was going to be a problem if you were then expecting clients to be able to connect!
  • Major networking improvement for the Steam Sockets networking style!
    • Steam sockets does not support multi-channel data, which is very limiting when it comes to sending main data quickly, but also having other large pieces of data that get there in a relatively-timely-but-not-so-urgent fashion.
    • To work around this, we basically followed Valve's suggestion and built in a multi-port solution, which uses the port you have chosen (for direct connection), or the virtual port 0 (for relayed connections), plus the next 3 numbered ports after that.
    • You can now see in your log as the client and host make and accept connections on each of those four channels/ports, and once all four are connected, then it starts sending data across them as needed.
    • If any of the four drop, then it will kill them all, but there's not really any reason to think that disconnects should be more frequent because of that. That was my original fear, but if that does happen I can potentially work around it a couple of ways. I have yet to see a disconnect, though, which is good.
    • Overall this takes the data sent from the host to clients, and makes something like 97% of it go on the secondary ports, which is a gigantic boost to the ability of the main port to send and receive timely information to keep the game going.
  • The two Steam P2P network options have been commented-out for now, making them unavailable for use. The only advantage that they had over Steam Sockets was that they could send multi-channel data (and that was a huge advantage). But P2P has been very unreliable, and other game developers are recommending to avoid it. It's still there in the xml if someone needs to uncomment it and try it for some reason, but we're hoping to have fewer options to confuse people.
    • The need to have Steam Sockets Relay and Steam Sockets Direct as two separate options will pretty much always remain (because they work fundamentally differently and have very different pros and cons), but we'd definitely like to avoid having a silly amount of choices.
  • Fixed up an issue where MP client machines could mess with the hack options of TSSes, ARSes, and similar. Now that is strictly handled by the host, and any changes that are made are sent to the clients post-haste. This was mostly already being caught and fixed on the client, but there was no good reason for the client to be doing this, and it just added inconsistencies to fix.
  • Fixed a very funky exception that could happen in DoFactionStepLogic_Stage2 on random factions on MP clients in particular, but in MP in general.
  • Fixed a variety of exceptions that could happen in HandleAutobuild() mainly in multiplayer, on the host or clients, due to cross-thread racing. Technically it could also happen in solo play, but we haven't seen any evidence of it actually doing so.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • The "BLARRRGH! Only authorized to execute through frame" error is now silenced. That... really wasn't actually a problem that was worth even complaining about. This was something that was showing up lately in at least a few multiplayer sessions, though something else seemed to be going on with them in general.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • Fixed a possible issue in multiplayer where out of order messages from the server might have potentially messed with the Network_AuthorizedToExecuteThroughFrameNumber.
    • There should not be out of order messages in the first place, but just in case.
  • Fixed an issue in CheckForInternalShipDeployment_ReinforcementLocations() that could happen on MP clients, which really did not need to be running that logic anyhow.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception that could happen in SpawnRaiders() on Marauders in multiplayer clients. Again not something they needed to ever do, it's left to just the host now.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • Fixed a number of possible cross-threading issues in CalculateShipsThatYouCanCapture(), which were vastly more likely to happen on MP clients.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • Fixed several more cross-threading bugs that could happen in WriteFleetTooltip(), again way more commonly on MP clients than anywhere else.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • Fixed another cross-threading bug that could happen in Hacking_GrantShipLine_DontDestroyTarget.GetCanBeHacked(), again mainly on MP clients. The obvious potential errors have been fixed, but then also it will now show in the ui an "error at debug stage x" message if it still runs into one. It will also silently log the error for us to look at more later, and to be able to further fix if need be.
    • Thanks to Badger for reporting.
  • Fixed an exception in SetNextTargetForTradeStation() that could happen on multiplayer clients using the Civilian Industries mod.
    • Thanks to Zegma for reporting.

Prior Release Notes

AI War 2:The Paradigm Shift